SCIE press release

End of life care - three new videos on Social Care TV

19 November 2012

It's nice for them to come back and think that we still remember them and they're not just gone and forgotten, because they'll never be forgotten.

Hazell Worrall, Amberleigh House, Liverpool on Social Care TV

Every year, residents, relatives and staff at a care home in Liverpool have a memorial service to remember the personalities and contributions of those who have died in the past year. They finish by releasing balloons to float into the sky.

This is just one scene from one of the three new films on End of Life Care on Social Care TV. The films, commissioned by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), look at various aspects of care at the end of life.

The three films are:

The films show how using good practice and quality standards can help staff to continually improve the service they provide. This includes effective joint working between social care and health professionals.

SCIE's Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe says:

End of life care is about strategy but it is also about balloons. These films show how you need strong planning because the coordination of end of life care is complex and, with so many people who could be involved, it is a challenging issue to get right. But, the scene where the balloons float up to the sky poignantly brings home how little things can add up to make a huge difference. These films show good practice examples of how managers and staff are providing skilled and respectful responses to End of Life Care challenges. The impact can be significant - one family member speaks of staff as her 'friends forever', a memorable testament to the care and support her parents and family received.

Supporting staff in care homes

This film focuses on how residential homes can support staff affected by bereavement.. Elizabeth Mumford, manager at Amberleigh House, says it is important to go over what has happened and to explore how someone feels about it. After a resident dies, the team meets to give the staff a chance to talk about their feelings; to look at how staff are coping following bereavement and suggest improvements for handling these challenging events in the future. Staff feel valued and are also provided with one-to-one support, which helps them to do an even better job in the future.

Personalisation - involve the person

This film looks at the Living Well scheme in Stockport, which captures the preferences, likes and dislikes that someone has in their "plan". One resident, called Ellen, has staff who attend to the small things that make her happy, for instance, doing her hair up in a bobble. Ellen has a one page profile, which includes a list of all the things that help to make her life as enjoyable as it can be. The film also looks at a younger person, Robert, who is 35 and lives in Hull. He has a life-limiting condition. Robert has a "good day / bad day" plan and his family is fully involved in planning and sharing his care. Again, his one-page summary can be used quickly and easily in both social care and health settings to make sure that Robert gets the things that are important for his quality of life.

Coordination of care

This film looks at the importance of coordination in End of Life Care. End of life care often involves a number of health and social care services and if these fail to work together successfully, the result is likely to be an unsatisfactory standard of care and unnecessary distress for the person and their family. This film looks at an innovative pilot scheme run by the South of Tyne and Wear Palliative Care Coordinating Centre from Marie Curie's Newcastle Hospice. The Centre offers a "one-stop shop" coordinated care package. It keeps everyone involved in someone's care, fully informed of a person's changing health and social care needs. It is also helpful for those who do not have families to support them. So far the results of the scheme are promising and there are plans to extend it to other parts of the country.


Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: