Support for people with diverse needs

Marie Curie believes everyone should have equal access to the care and support they need if they’re living with a terminal illness, regardless of their condition, disability or religious beliefs.

Since January 2016 we have been running our three-year Including Diverse Communities in End of Life Care project, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

This project is looking at the needs of three specific groups of people living with a terminal illness in Cardiff and the Vale:

  • people with dementia
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with different religious views, including those with no religious beliefs.

What do we want to achieve?

By working with local organisations and individuals, we want to:

  • find out more about what particular needs these groups of people may have
  • help them understand how we can help
  • make it easier for them to get support from us when they need it.

What have we done so far?

We’ve been working with organisations that support these specific groups of people we want to help. This gives them opportunities to share their experiences and their needs with us.

We’ve consulted individuals and organisations from all three groups to identify the barriers they face in accessing services. Together, we’ve considered what Marie Curie can do to help; we’ll be building on these recommendations in the project’s final year.

Dementia Friendly Hospice plan

We’ve established a Dementia Friendly Hospice plan and steering group. We’re working towards recognition as a Dementia Friendly Hospice, in partnership with both Dementia Friendly Cardiff and Dementia Friendly Penarth.

We’ve been working with a Service User Review Panel from the Alzheimer’s Society to give us valuable feedback on this process.

Spiritual Care Coordinator

We’ve hired a new Spiritual Care Coordinator to look after spiritual needs at the hospice. These might be related to belief, philosophy, spirituality or a religion. The new role means patients’ needs can be coordinated working with members from different belief organisations across Cardiff and The Vale.

The Spiritual Care Coordinator also provides pastoral support and talking therapy to patients who are staying in the hospice and their families and carers. The aim is to make sure everyone’s spiritual or religious needs are met in a way that works for them.

Raising awareness

We’ve been involved in many events to raise awareness of the challenges different groups face. These have included:

  • A talk on the importance of dementia supportive policies. This was given at the Policy Forum for Wales event on the Dementia Strategy
  • Regular attendance at the cross-party group on dementia – to keep palliative care on the agenda
  • Workshop delivered at the Learning Disabilities Wales conference on “talking about when we die”, discussing advanced care planning for people with learning disabilities
  • Numerous events and meetings for local authority and social care providers to raise awareness of our services to enable better signposting
  • Delivering development days for community leaders to improve knowledge of palliative and end of life care and what their roles may be in supporting people with palliative care needs.

Easy read booklets

Our national Information and Support team have recently produced Easy Read versions of our most popular information booklets to support people affected by learning disabilities and terminal illness.

These are free and can be downloaded or ordered in print.

What’s next?

In the final year of the project we plan to:

  • continue supporting community leaders, health and social care providers, and carers to understand palliative and end of life care
  • be better able to support and signpost people with diverse needs.

We're working on a variety of outcomes including:

  • learning resources for our staff to improve their knowledge and understanding of supporting different groups
  • tailored information resources about our services for different groups.

Get in touch

If you’d like more information on the project or have an idea of how we might be able to work together, please contact Monica Reardon, project manager.

Phone: 02920 426 025
Email: monica.reardon@mariecurie.org.uk

If you’re looking for information on the previous BAME improving access project which ran 2012-2015, you may also contact Monica. 

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