Conference highlights issues faced with people living longer
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