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Zach Moss 11 June 2014

Busy and Exciting Times

Huge thank you to everyone who has been or is helping us as we take forward our plans for the roll-out.  There has been so much happening since we got the wonderful £1million funding news in March – we’ve visited all of our delivery areas, we’ve held a Celebration Event, been completing the grant paperwork, and continued to provide training.  The last few months have also seen our Information Line experiencing one of its busiest months ever. There has been lots in the media recently about end of life rights and care including the Government response to the House of Lord’s Mental Capacity Act Committee’s recommendations.  Our Chief Executive, Sarah Wootton shares her thoughts to yesterday’s response from the Government (more information can be found via our Press Release);
“The recommendations and subsequent response have consistently highlighted the importance of Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment (ADRTs) and it is critical that healthcare professionals not only follow the recorded decision, but also take an active role in informing and supporting individuals during the process of making an ADRT. The Office of the Public Guardian has done some outstanding work in raising the awareness and uptake of Lasting Power of Attorneys, and this continues alongside a concerted effort to raise the public profile of ADRTs. Both tools should support each other and work together, and ADRTs are incredibly important in situations where a patient may not be able to rely on someone else to give informed consent on their treatment.”
My Life, My Decision will be using both tools, and as well as raising awareness of these tools we will, with our delivery partners, be supporting older people to discuss & record their end of life wishes, including supporting them to complete, if they so choose, an Advance Decision and/or Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney. To achieve this, we of course need a team!  So like many of the other Silver Dream projects who have become Flagships, we are in the midst of recruiting for My Life, My Decision.  There are some new exciting roles at a national level and also in Hillingdon, Lancashire, Oxfordshire, South Lakeland, South Tyneside and Trafford.   Click here for the latest on job and voluntary vacancies. If everything goes to plan the My Life, My Decision project staff should all be in post by 1st August.  There will then be a period of in-depth training for the team, including a two day residential, and also a comprehensive baseline survey to support the roll out and evaluation.  The residential is going to be a familiar and key part of My Life, My Decision, learning from other Big Lottery national projects we are introducing this approach to facilitate the sharing of learning.  We hope to invite our strategic partners to some of the residentials and possibly resource partners too.  We will also be hosting in partnership with International Longevity Centre Forum Debates for the wider community, and will continue via this blog and Compassion in Dying’s website keep you posted of dates, programmes and the launch date for My Life, My Decision. So all in all it has been a busy and exciting few months, and the months ahead look just as exciting and busy!

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