Wigan organisations' mission to provide end-of-life care for homeless and vulnerably housed

Wigan organisations are joining forces to ensure homeless and vulnerably housed people can access palliative and end-of-life care.
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A grant of £25,000 has been awarded by the Masonic Foundation for a new project to support those who do not have a permanent home.

Initially the project will be led by experts from Wigan and Leigh Hospice, with a focus on getting as many staff as possible who work with homeless or vulnerably housed people onto the charity’s 12-week training course Foundations in Palliative and End-of-Life Care.

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The project is being delivered in partnership with Wigan Council.

Debbie JonesDebbie Jones
Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones, manager of the hospice in your care home team, said: “We want to ensure that the wishes and preferences of the homeless and vulnerably housed are heard and respected, so that they have equal access to palliative and end-of-life care.

“We also want to identify people with health problems earlier on, rather than reach them only in the last 12 months of life, so support is in place before it is needed.

“These are people who rarely access hospice services and we want to remove barriers to improve end-of-life care and promote choice and dignity. We feel that hospice care should be available to anyone who needs it and we are excited that this project will help us to reach these harder-to-reach communities, but also educate staff who work with these vulnerable individuals.

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“Therefore, even if they don’t access hospice care directly, they will have benefitted from our expertise in palliative and end-of-life care.”

Organisations working with the hospice and the council’s homelessness services include The Brick, health outreach team and the drug and alcohol service.

Each organisation will be offered regular meetings with the hospice team to identify any service users who are deteriorating or are at risk of deteriorating, so they can work together on future planning for their care.

Ms Jones said: “The organisations are very positive about the project and especially keen to get their staff more education and training on caring for people who are at end of life.

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“They are being offered the core training we already deliver to nursing and residential homes, extra care and learning disability teams in the borough. We do recognise though that there will be some additional bespoke training required, which will be unique to this area of care and we will work with each setting to tailor this to their needs.”

Coun Keith Cunliffe, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet portfolio holder for adult services, said: “We are really pleased that Wigan Council is able to work alongside Wigan and Leigh Hospice to deliver this important service.”

The council’s cabinet portfolio holder for homelessness, Coun Susan Gambles, added: “We really hope that this will further enhance our partnership approach, helping us to support those who are facing homelessness in the borough.”

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