Palliative care and end of life practises among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.

REPORT End of Life BME Groups 101115 submitted

This project is funded by Health Education Kent , Surrey and Sussex and led by Drs David Smith and Carlos  Moreno-Leguizamon with support of Stephanie Grohmann of the Faculty of Health and Education at the University of Greenwich in collaboration with Diversity House and the Medway BME Forum.

Background

It is estimated that by 2026 the BME population will account for 27% of the UK population with 1.3 million of these aged 65 or over. The End-of-Life Care Strategy (2008) indicates that the health and social care needs of the BME groups needs to be met against the background of significant changes in epidemiological and demographic trends. LA’s are designed to involve and engage various stakeholders as well as service users throughout the course of the project. This project using the LA approach as its main method, and taking into account the ageing and demographic trends related to BME communities in north and mid Kent, seeks to explore the main health needs felt by elder BME community members in Kent with the purpose of not only discovering their palliative care needs but also of building the capacity and capability within primary care services when working with these communities.

The project

This project, using some elements of an Learning Alliance (LA) as its main approach and taking into account the ageing and demographic trends related to the BME communities in the UK and more specifically in mid and north Kent, is  implementing a one-year feasibility study.  This would be conducted in order to explore the main health needs felt by BME communities in Kent with the purpose not only of knowing the palliative health needs of BME communities, but also of building the capacity and capability required within primary community services when working with these communities. That both social care and health services need to be tailored to the newly emerging demographic trends of various aging populations in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability is becoming an increasingly compulsory issue. Therefore, this feasibility study, starting with BME issues, expects to address in the long term all the remaining inter-sectional issues (socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability).

Thus, the project specifically seeks to:

Document some of the declared palliative health needs of four of the major BME groups in Kent (Medway, Gravesend, and Swale). Document in particular the end-of-life practices as experienced in these BME groups. Build the capacity of Kent community services by making them part of the LA Monitor the process of networking and increase the opportunities of working with different stakeholders including the multi-professional team. Disseminate, locally and nationally, electronically and by other means, the experience of creating an LA to serve BME populations, especially concerning end-of-life practices. The Learning Alliance in Palliative Care and End of Life Practices – LAPCEL

The users of health and social care services are often presented with findings only at the end of a research project. The Learning Alliance model is designed to involve and engage various stakeholders and service users throughout the course of the project.

The aim is that stakeholders like yourselves will have ‘buy-in’ and are able to influence the development of the research and project outputs in a way that best meets your needs.

So, LAPCEL –The Learning Alliance in Palliative Care and End of Life Practices– is followed by a group of people with different experiences and backgrounds interested in exploring and discussing ‘End of Life Practices and Palliative Care among Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups in the UK.