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Patients and their relatives living with a terminal illness are being asked to help build a picture of their experience of the care and support provided to them in Gloucestershire.

Healthwatch Gloucestershire, the county’s independent health and social care champion, wants to hear from Gloucestershire residents who have accessed support around end of life care, or who would be looking at accessing this information.  This may include using services such as hospice care, information provision or bereavement support.

The team would like to hear from you if you are:

  • a patient receiving palliative end of life care;
  • a carer, relative or friend of someone receiving end of life care;
  • a carer, relative or friend of someone who has recently passed away.

As part of the End of Life Care Strategy, Healthwatch Gloucestershire is looking at what end of life support is available for individuals over 18 years old both locally and nationally.  This is non-clinical support; not information about your illness or condition, but other types of information that would support you and your family through the end of life.  End of life patients are individuals ‘approaching the end of life’ when they are likely to die within the next 12 months.

Julia Butler-Hunt, Manager at Healthwatch Gloucestershire, said: “We appreciate this can be a hard subject to talk about, which is why any insight patients and relatives can give will help make services better for others in the future.

“We want to know what kinds of non-clinical support people need in Gloucestershire, what’s good and not so good about the current provision and how hard or easy it is for people to access the information they need.

“All feedback will be processed anonymously and will be fed into the Gloucestershire End of Life Care Strategy, which aims to provide high quality end of life care to everyone in the county.”

A team of staff and volunteers from Healthwatch Gloucestershire will go out to local support groups, such as hospices, carers groups, faith groups and bereavement support to find out people’s views.

Patients, carers and their families are encouraged to share their experiences, and an online survey is being launched for people to share their views until 5 October 2018.  In the meantime, please contact the Healthwatch Gloucestershire team on 01452 504989 or freephone 0800 6525193, or email info@healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk.

A report of our findings will be shared with partner organisations, and also published on the Healthwatch Gloucestershire website.

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