People in South Staffordshire are being urged to take part in a pioneering pilot to break down taboos about planning for their future care.
The ‘How I want to go’ campaign has been launched to encourage people to record their wishes about the care they would like at the end of their life.
The pilot is to encourage people to consider the things that might matter most to them towards the end of their life and capture them online, in one place.
If they choose to share their views with a senior nurse they will also be able to contribute to a research project assessing the potential for the campaign and to help shape its future.
The responses will also be part of a research project, looking at the challenges and benefits that people experience of making plans for end of life preferences.
Anyone can log on to www.mywishes.co.uk/southstaffs and record things that matter to them as part of the project organised by the South Staffordshire End of Life Care Alliance.
Alliance spokesman and lead coach for the project, Ian Leech said the ‘How I want to go’ campaign was aimed at anyone who wanted to make their wishes known for their future no matter their age or health issues.
“We hope that the ‘How I want to go’ campaign will encourage people of any age to record their future wishes about the important things they want the people looking after them to know,” he said.
“The My Wishes care plan includes information about you as a person, from favourite foods and movies to the important people who should be involved in decisions about your health if you cannot speak for yourself.
“Anyone can log onto the site and complete the form and even print off a copy to file with their will, Lasting Power of Attorney or other important documents for the future.”
Questions include: ‘What worries or fears do you have about your future?’ ‘Who would you like to look after your pets?’ and ‘What are your favourite TV shows’ in case you are unable to speak for yourself.
As part of the project, which is funded by NHS England, if participants agree, the care plans will be shared with a senior nurse at St Giles Hospice, an alliance member.
The nurse will review the information in all of the care plans to ensure no urgent action is required and to produce an anonymised report to help healthcare team and voluntary organisations consider how to best record people’s wishes and what they might be.
“As an alliance, we believe that not enough people are having conversations about the future, which can mean their wishes aren’t heard if they become ill and can’t speak or communicate for themselves,” said Ian.
“This project will hopefully encourage people to start important conversations and make plans for the future, which can help prevent future crises and most importantly will make sure people receiving the care they want, rather than the care people think they want.
“We also want to get people’s feedback on the process of filling in the forms, the discussions they had and any challenges they hit along the way.
“This information is a vital part in helping improve end of life care locally.”
South Staffordshire End of Life Care Alliance.
The alliance brings together 17 voluntary sector organisations from the area and aims to improve end of life care by encouraging people to have conversations about their care in the future. Alliance members include:
St Giles Hospice
Katharine House Hospice
Bromford Housing Group
Stafford and Rural Homes
Burton Albion Community Trust
A Child of Mine
Beth Johnson Foundation
Tamworth Stroke Support Group
St John’s Roman Catholic Church
Whittington Good Neighbours
Age UK Stafford
Age UK South Staffs
Carer’s Association (CASS)
Citizen’s Advice (Staffordshire South West)
East Staffordshire CCG Patient Board