By Debbie le Quesne

Pioneering Dudley in end of life trial

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Jumping from the columns of my local evening newspaper I read that Dudley is to trial a new end-of-life programme where care is delivered in the home.

A partnership has been forged between Mary Steven’s Hospice, Stourbridge, the NHS Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, and Dudley NHS Foundation Trust for the Macmillan Specialist Care at Home, to deliver the programme. It’s one of only six pilot schemes in the UK and will be on my agenda when I meet with the CCG tomorrow.

People affected by life-limiting diseases who wish to die at home will be referred to the project.

Not surprisingly Ciaran Devane, the chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support is reported as saying 75 per cent of cancer patients wish to end their days at home, but less than two thirds actually do.

Everyone should have the right to choose to die at home and this particular personalisation of care is so worthy. It allows people a real choice to be close to friends and family at a time of their greatest need.

I don’t doubt, given the excellence with which Macmillan dispense their care, that every possible clinical box has been ticked.

The trial also will see a union of both nursing and social care working hand in hand, with a community consultant doctor overseeing matters. This is ‘domcare’ at its utmost potential and I applaud Dudley MBC for taking on this challenge.

Starting next month, the programme will run until 2016 and I am sure as a result the number of emergency hospital admissions will tumble.

Stevan Jackson, chief executive of Mary Steven’s Hospice speaks about a single point of access for patients in the article. That too, is a huge bonus for caring.

Dudley borough is fast becoming a national landmark for its approach to caring. Long may it continue!

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