An evaluation report published this week is showcasing how people with a serious illness are benefitting from a new programme to ensure their wishes are being met by medical staff and they are fully involved in decisions about their treatment.
Consultant oncologists at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Merseyside, along with a number of GPs in Airedale, Yorkshire and Southend, Essex, have taken part in year-long pilot of The Serious Illness Care Programme UK
The Serious Illness Care Programme trains Doctors to have structured, meaningful conversations with suitable patients to identify their wants, needs and wishes at put them at the centre of their care, ensuring it is personal to them, whether or not their disease is curable.
In the twelve month pilot project, 220 patients had serious illness conversations with clinicians across the three pilot sites.
All the patients reported feeling the conversation was worthwhile, 87.5 per cent said they felt “very satisfied” and highly rated their clinician’s skill in leading the conversations, and 89 per cent reported reduced levels of depression.
Patients and their families reported less anxiety and improved quality of life, while a majority (60 per cent) reported increased rapport with their clinician, greater control over their medical decision making, improved understanding about what their health might be like in the future and more hopefulness about their quality of life.
On the part of their clinicians, they said the structure of the conversations helped them talk to patients and their goals and values. They also said the training gave them more confidence and they described the positive impact of the structured conversations with their patients.
The UK programme is a partnership between The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust in Merseyside, Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool and Ariadne Labs in Boston, USA.
You can read the full report here