On 7 June, almost 130 delegates from 54 different organisations attended our event exploring approaches to end of life care across the West of England. Delegates included patients and carers, primary care (in and out of hours), community services, mental health services, hospices, the ambulance service and acute care.

The event launched a new pan-system programme looking to standardise the region’s approach to treatment escalation. We hosted it on behalf of the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative.


Anne Pullyblank, Clinical Director of the West of England AHSN, started by presenting some views our regional stakeholders had expressed about current treatment escalation practices. Although there are some excellent examples of good practice, the absence of treatment escalation information, a lack of standardised processes, and problems communicating patients’ preferences for treatment at the points of handover of care were strong themes.

To address these systemic issues, the West of England Patient Safety Collaborative has supported the proposal that the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) process, developed by the Resus Council, be considered for system-wide adoption.

We know that our stakeholders have a range of views about ReSPECT: it encourages better conversations with patients and their families and is a nationally recognised document. However, there are a number of reservations about it: would it pass the 3am test? Is it suited to all care settings? Staff will need more training. A new form on its own is not the solution. These topic points were addressed throughout the course of the event.

What our speakers said

After Anne Pullyblank, we welcomed a number of different speakers to the stage, including Mark Callaway and Emma Redfern from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, who presented the local case for change. Gina King, Regional End of Life lead for the South West Strategic Clinical Network, then explained how a programme to standardise to ReSPECT across the West of England would complement the wider end of life agenda.

The plenary then welcomed Catherine Baldock, ReSPECT Project Manager from the Resus Council, who explained the background to the development of ReSPECT. Afterwards, we heard from Susan and Chris Daniel, who gave their family’s experience of end of life care and their perspective on ReSPECT.

Workshops and closing remarks

After the lunch break, the delegates organised themselves into their STP geographies to spend an hour considering how they will collaborate across services to take this programme forward in the immediate to short term.

To sum up the event, the delegation watched a video address from Mary Hutton, Executive Sponsor for this Patient Safety Collaborative programme and Lead for Gloucestershire STP. Mary stressed the importance of commissioner support to facilitate the impact of system wide change.

Finally, we heard from Natasha Swinscoe, Managing Director at the West of England AHSN. She recognised that this will be a challenging programme but that it was good to get some of the collective apprehensions and issues voiced from the outset; to not be scared by them but to tackle them head on.

Natasha noted that the West of England AHSN will not only facilitate collaboration within and across STPs but that we can also add value in areas such as innovation and technology as the organisation has close links with industry, developers and researchers. So, if you have any ideas for technological enablers or innovations, bring them to us and we can work with you to see if there are opportunities to realise them.

Save the date

The next regional event for this programme will be jointly hosted with the Deteriorating Patient programme.

Wednesday 17th October 2018, Cheltenham Chase Hotel, Gloucestershire

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more or get involved, please contact our Senior Project Manager, Joanna Garrett on:

Tel: 0117 9841690
Email: Joanna.Garrett@weahsn.net


Posted on July 10, 2018

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