This month a substantial grant from the National Lottery Community Fund has been awarded to a project we are part of. It will help people in Lambeth plan ahead and record their future care wishes.
The Lambeth Advance Care Planning Consortium, led by Compassion in Dying and Healthwatch Lambeth, has been granted £390,244 for a three-year project that brings local organisations together to make advance care planning more accessible for the borough’s diverse communities.
Advance care planning enables you to think about and record how you would like to be treated and cared for at the end of your life, or if you could no longer communicate or make your own decisions – for example someone living with advanced dementia.
Planning ahead can include identifying what is important to you, such as where you’d like to be cared for, any spiritual or religious beliefs, everyday preferences like diet and music, as well as recording any life-prolonging treatments you may not want to receive in certain situations.
Research shows that recording treatment and care wishes provides peace of mind in the present. It also results in care that better reflects people’s wishes, leads to fewer unwanted treatments and hospital admissions, and improves access to palliative care.
It can also make things easier for your family friends and professionals, ensuring that they can understand what you want and respect your wishes.
Local GP Raj Mitra who is part of the consortium said:
“It’s a good idea to make an advance care plan so that people involved in your care know what’s important to you. It is great news that we have been awarded National Lottery funding so that more people in Lambeth are able to make an advance care plan.”
So far, we have run a range of activities with the consortium, including death cafes, workshops and the ‘Before I Die’ tent at Lambeth Country Show this year.
The new project will include more awareness raising events across Lambeth, as well as a new one-to-one support service which will be available from winter 2019/20.
The service is particularly designed for older people, unpaid carers, those with long-term conditions including dementia and learning disabilities, and Lambeth’s sizeable Portuguese-speaking communities. Lambeth residents will be able to request the support through Age UK Lambeth’s safe and independent living service (SAIL).
Usha Grieve, Director of Partnerships and Information at Compassion in Dying, says:
“We are delighted that the Consortium has been awarded this grant. We look forward to working with our local partners to get the people of Lambeth talking about death and dying and to support them to plan ahead for the end of life.”