LAPCEL – Learning Alliance for Palliative Care & End of Life Practises

This project is funded by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex and led by Drs David Smith and Carlos Moreno-Leguizamon with support of Anglia Ruskin University, Diversity House, Ellenor, Health Education England Kent, Sussex, Surrey and University of Greenwich.

The 3rd September saw Gravesend host the latest LAPCEL event. The Mayor for Gravesend, Cllr Gurdip Bungar opened the conference, giving a short introductory speech, welcoming us all and highlighting the need for projects like LAPCEL. He described his own experiences with end of life care in regard to a member of his family. He stressed how the quality care and compassion helped to make a difficult situation a little easier and his experience has led him to support organisation like Ellenor and to become involved with the LAPCEL Project.

We were shown a short video explaining the conception of Pictograms and how and why they are so useful when working across cultures, religions and possible language barriers. We were tasked with creating an ‘end of life story’ from the cards. The task was a little awkward at first, given the topic of discussion, but this is entirely the point. LAPCEL works to break down the taboos surrounding end of life care and overcome the barriers of discussing death. While all the cards were relevant to the journey, where we placed them on importance or when they came into effect differed. We learnt that financial issues will be some people’s biggest worry, whereas others stated their biggest stress would be telling their family. One attendee said they were undecided if they would want to be buried here or with family in a different country, as their culture dictates. This highlights the need for LAPCEL’s work with spreading the message of palliative care across all ethnic groups.

Dr Carlos Moreno and Dr David Smith delivered a presentation on research findings that validate the use of pictograms. This was followed by a panel discussion highlighting the benefits of end of life centres that welcome any and all religions. The panel spoke about the importance of practitioners being able to reflect the people they are helping. Green Acres Group Marketing Manager, Insia Ishtiaq, spoke about how her company employ people from all different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and together they can speak 15 languages which enables them to connect and assist their service users in the best way possible. They offer bespoke and personal end of life plans, something all the panel agreed is a great benefit to ethnic minority people.

We were also lucky enough to hear some poems around end of life and palliative care. Rossella Riccobono, from St Andrew’s University, spoke about her research conducted around the power of poetry as a Therapeutic tool for palliative care patients.

If you are local BAME organisation or an individual within the Kent area and would like to gain further information on hospice and end of life care. Ellenor have created a 24-hour helpline 01474 320007 or you can contact them via email