Patient safety

26.11.19

End of life specialist training for London Ambulance Service

Ambulance staff from the London Ambulance Service have been through specialist training for terminally ill patients.

All front-line ambulance staff in the capital are undergoing training in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, aiming to ensure all patients’ needs are met and wishes are respected.

Palliative and end of life care for patients and families will see a more enhanced service from ambulance crew following the specialist training.

Additional guidance and education are available to clinicians to support dying patients. This is to ensure that unnecessary trips to the hospital can be avoided, avoiding added distress for a patient and their families.

London Ambulance Service’s Chief Quality Officer Dr. Trisha Bain, said:

“We strive to provide dignified, compassionate and respectful end of life care. Our work with Macmillan has meant extra training and education for all our crews on the road and our call handlers taking 999 calls.

“This has ensured patients have their needs met and wishes respected and often avoids an unnecessary trip to hospital, which can be distressing to both the patient and their family.”

The 18 ambulance group stations currently serving London, have a clinician with additional training to help patients who are nearing the end of their life. These volunteer clinicians are also there to support the wellbeing of their colleagues and equip them with the tools needed to improve palliative care.

In addition to this, all staff can access an electronic system that holds patient care records named ‘Coordinate My Care’. This provides a more joined up care system for patients and clinicians with vital details at their fingertips.

Work between hospices and palliative care teams is also ongoing to create new appropriate care pathways with specialist advice and access to new services.

Macmillan Paramedic Programme Lead, Georgina Murphy-Jones, said:

“When someone is reaching their end of their life, we only have one chance to get it right. We aspire to provide compassionate care that meets the individual’s needs and wishes. This can be commonly achieved by supporting patients and their families at home. 

“Our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support is enabling us to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills of our staff to provide quality care and an improved experience to those with advanced illness or when nearing their end of life.”

 

Photo: London Ambulance Service

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