Plymouth to be first compassionate city?

Plymouth could become the first accredited Compassionate City.

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care announced the city would work together to become more compassionate towards people near the end of their life as well as those who are left behind grieving.

A steering group is to be set up to look at how the city of Plymouth can meet the 14 aims of the compassionate end of life charter, with the aim of an official launch later in the year.

Councillor Ian Tuffin, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “As a growing city with a rising number of over-65s, there are increasing demands on health and social care resources. Care becomes more complex and end of life needs grow.

“Death is part of life but it’s something people struggle to talk about.  Death and dying are more than medical issues and caring for those affected is not just the role of doctors. We all have a part to play.

“The Compassionate City Charter for end of life care gives us all a framework to work towards. As a Council we support this approach and want to work with our community to make this happen.”

The idea came from an event hosted by St Luke’s Hospice earlier this year as part of Dying Matters week. Representatives from a wide range of organisations, including the arts, the NHS, schools, solicitors and charities, discussed ways of working together more to make Plymouth more compassionate for those at the end of life, or living with bereavement and loss.

CEO of St Luke’s Hospice, Steve Statham added: “We have a key role to play in supporting our community and networks in times of crisis and loss. This charter is about how we can work together towards extending the support we give to people at a most difficult time in their life.

 “We are all aware of our ageing population and an increasing number of patients with complex conditions. We need our communities to work together with support from us to provide some of the solutions to meet the ever-growing demands on all our health and social care services.”

An End of Life Compassionate Network is being set up willing to work towards the charter.