End of Life Care
GPs may take advice from the Palliative Care Team, who are based at the local hospices. The Palliative Care Team, may give advice over the telephone, or arrange a visit at your home, or invite you to their clinic. If you are finding symptom control difficult sometimes a short visit to one of the hospices can helpful to stabilise your symptoms and get you back home feeling more comfortable. Hospices also offer daytime activities which patients and their families can find helpful.
Hospices are able to provide specialist care and a range of holistic (physical, psychological, spiritual and social) support to people with a life-limiting illness, their carers and families.
Our local hospices:
Leckhampton Court Hospice (Cheltenham) provides in-patient hospice beds, day hospice care and hospice at home care
Longfield (Minchinhampton) provides day hospice care and hospice at home care
What to do After Death
The death of a family member or friend can be a challenging thing to cope with.
When you are ready call the GP or District nurses and they will attend in order to verify the death. If this happens out of hours you will need to call the out of hours service on 0300 421 0220 and explain that your loved one has died and that this is an expected death.
When they have been and you are ready, you can contact the funeral director who will make arrangements to take your loved one to their Chapel of Rest.
Your GP will then need to issue a death certificate. This is then used by you to register their death. If your loved one wishes to be cremated a separate form will be completed by your GP. This form then has to be signed by a further GP.
They may contact you to talk through what has happened. This is standard practice and whilst difficult for you please do not be concerned.
Maggie's Centre (Cheltenham)
Maggie’s offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends. Help is offered freely to anyone with any type of cancer. Simply drop in to The Lodge, College Baths Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7QB.
Telephone: 01242 250611
Just in Case Boxes
Just in Case Boxes are available for GPs to Gloucestershire. This is a box containing anticipatory medication that a person may need in order to control any symptoms at end of life (eg pain, nausea, secretions, agitation). It is kept in the person’s home ‘just in case’ it may be needed and is particularly useful at evenings and weekends if urgent or emergency services have been called out.
ReSPECT stands for ‘Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment’. It is a form that allows people approaching the end of their life to explain certain decision that they have made, so that in an emergency all health professionals can act in accordance with your wishes.
The ReSPECT plan is created through conversations between a person and their health professionals. The plan is recorded on a form and includes their personal priorities for care and agreed clinical recommendations about care and treatment that could help to achieve the outcome that they would want, that would not help, or that they would not want.