“Where would you like to die?” – new end of life strategy for Milton Keynes on the way

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A new strategy to help patients at the end of their lives decide where they would like to die is on the way in Milton Keynes.

A document on the palliative and end of life care strategy is due to be ratified by April, a meeting of Milton Keynes clinical commissioning group (CCG) heard yesterday (Tuesday).

People are passed from pillar to post even when no future treatment is possible,” said Tom Holme, a member of the CCG board. “It’s no way to end a life.”

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NHS commissioning chiefs are also discussing working with the Open University to create a film.

Willen's Hospice at Home is one year oldWillen's Hospice at Home is one year old
Willen's Hospice at Home is one year old

It will broach the subject of conducting advance care planning for health professionals, and will aim to encourage the public to talk about their wishes for the end of their lives.

The MK CCG board also heard that there will be a big meeting on March 24 involving health professionals and the public.

Clinicians will be asked to focus on what needs to be improved in end of life care across the Bedfordshire, Luton, and MK patch (BLMK).

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The final strategy will set out priority areas for end of life care service improvement and change between 2020 and 2023.

Last year the government announced that Willen Hospice will be given £98,000 for a new palliative care pilot project.

Richard Alsop, the CCG’s chief operating officer said there had been a “good conversation” on the issue, which aims to help people to “die in a place they choose.”

“Money is being put to good effect,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Willen Hospice confirmed that the government money has been gratefully received but it hasn’t yet been decided how it will be used.

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She said: “‘We are pleased to have received this government funding which will greatly support patients who are living with life limiting illnesses in around MK.

“It is extremely important we use this in the best way to support them and we are currently in the early stages of scoping how this will look.”

One of the ways Willen is looking at using the money is to develop its “Willen at Home” service, which only recently celebrated its first anniversary.