Con­fer­ence high­lights is­sues faced with peo­ple liv­ing longer

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

THE im­por­tance of valu­ing life in pal­lia­tive care in­stead of wait­ing to die was the theme for the 2014 Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care an­nual con­fer­ence which took place on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 22.

About 100 del­e­gates ei­ther from hos­pices or with an in­ter­est in the pal­lia­tive care sec­tor gath­ered to hear thought-pro­vok­ing pre­sen­ta­tions from six dif­fer­ent speak­ers.

The con­fer­ence was chaired by Stephen Spiro, pro­fes­sor of Res­pi­ra­tory Medicine and chair­man of Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care.

In his open­ing speech Pro­fes­sor Spiro set the scene for the day’s speak­ers by high­light­ing the fact that too many peo­ple are dy­ing in hos­pi­tal hooked up to ma­chines rather than spend­ing their last days as they would want in fa­mil­iar places with those they love.

The key­note speaker of the day was Pro­fes­sor Karol Sikora, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Can­cer Part­ners UK and pro­fes­sor of medicine at the In­de­pen­dent Med­i­cal School at the Univer­sity of Buck­ing­ham.

Draw­ing on his many years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a lead­ing on­col­o­gist, Pro­fes­sor Sikora warned of an im­pend­ing epi­demic of death, in part brought about by the fact that med­i­cal ad­vances have helped peo­ple live for longer.

He iden­ti­fied that the chal­lenge for the fu­ture is to change our ap­proach to car­ing for an in­creas­ing num­ber of older peo­ple.

He con­cluded by out­lin­ing his four fu­tures of can­cer which cen­tred around the im­pact of tech­nol­ogy, changes in so­ci­ety, the ways in which we de­liver care and how we fund that care in the fu­ture.

Other ex­pert speak­ers in­cluded: lead­ing con­sul­tant clin­i­cal on­col­o­gist, Dr Rus­sell Moule who spoke about the role of ra­dio­ther­apy in pal­lia­tive care; Dr Ana Draper, a con­sul­tant sys­temic psy­chother­a­pist who high­lighted the im­por­tance of help­ing pa­tients and fam­i­lies have re­al­is­tic hopes; Tina Smith a prostate can­cer spe­cial­ist nurse who out­lined her col­lab­o­ra­tive project sup­port­ing men with prostate can­cer; Jo Oates, head of ed­u­ca­tion at Ren­nie Grove who in­formed her fel­low pro­fes­sion­als about a new tool for as­sess­ing the support that car­ers might need and Lisa Sturge, a laugh­ter coach who il­lus­trated how laugh­ter can be the best medicine.

The an­nual con­fer­ence is well re­garded and many at­ten­dees re­turn ev­ery year as part of their con­tin­u­ing pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment. A CHIL­DREN’S char­ity shop cel­e­brated its first an­niver­sary in a town last week.

The Barnardo’s shop in High Street, Che­sham, marked be­ing open for one year last Wed­nes­day by host­ing a party.

Staff cel­e­brated the oc­ca­sion with a birth­day cake and a visit from Barnardo’s Big Todd as well as Che­sham’s mayor Mo Fayyaz.

Money raised in the Barnardo’s Che­sham shop goes to­wards help­ing the char­ity to give dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren a bet­ter fu­ture.

Sales as­sis­tant Gemma Hy­land said: “We’re ex­tremely grate­ful to ev­ery sin­gle cus­tomer and the many vol­un­teers who have given up their free time and ef­fort to support our shop.

“It’s a great feel­ing to be a year old and we are al­ready look­ing for­ward to what we

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