Innovation Unit at the Hospice UK Conference 2017

Words Sarah Dew

Today, 24th November 2017, our Chief Executive Sarah Gillinson is sharing insights from Better Endings, a year-long innovation programme funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, as part of a session on ‘Applying design thinking in end of life care’.

Sarah will be presenting the key insights from our research, and the key opportunities we see for improving people’s experience of death, dying and loss. She will also introduce the 3 prototypes that we have been developing in Lambeth and Southwark that respond to the opportunities we see for change:

  1. Neighbourhood Care

Building neighbourhood volunteer networks around isolated people, so that no one who is dying is left without practical and emotional support

Key features:

  • Identifying people who may need additional practical and social support through GPs and other services
  • Building volunteer support around people (ideally from the person’s immediate neighbourhood). The volunteers are formally networked and professionally trained.
  • Linking volunteers closely with community nursing ‘end of life’ teams.
  • Exploring partnerships with Housing Associations and others who could help host and deliver Neighbourhood Care schemes.
  1. Coach4care

Peer-led coaching to help carers sustain their love, energy and well-being

Key features:

  • Supporting people to process experiences and take care of their own health and well-being while they care for a dying loved one
  • Offering one-to-one coaching with a specifically trained peer coach (with lived experience of supporting someone at the end of life)
  • Creating new roles for peer coaches alongside professionals
  • Referring people through GPs, social services and hospices. Hosted by hospices or other community agents.   
  1. Ripples

Using dialogue and story-telling to help people to explore the value of their lives and experiences for themselves and to others

Key features:

    • Enhancing the experiences of people without a solid network of loved ones around them who might help them to make sense of things
    • Training listeners to feel confident to lead people through a visual and engaging process of conversation and self-reflection
    • Offering easy-to-use resources and light-touch training to support conversation. The aim is to empower a range of organisations to lead conversations with people who are dying.  

You can follow the latest news and thoughts from the Hospice UK conference on Twitter #HUKConf17.