Website for care

from the Solihull Observer, 29 March 2007

A new website has been launched to provide Solihull residents with more information about palliative care for terminally ill patients in the borough.

The site – - aims to provide health professionals, volunteers, careers and patients with more information about what palliative care is available in Solihull and Birmingham.

It sets out the gold standard care every terminally ill patient in Solihull should receive, such as access to help and medication in the evenings and at night, support for carers and patients being able to choose where they die.

It deals with counselling, bereavement services, pain management, spiritual care, training, education and both conventional and complementary therapies.

There is also information oil specific illnesses, including Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and dementia.

The website is one of numerous initiatives being launched by the Pan Birmingham Palliative Care Network this year to educate people about what makes good palliative care.

Network manager Melanie Young said it plugged gaps in the information available about palliative care. "Patients often say they find out about services more by accident than because they have been given lots of information about the options open to them," she said.

"It's vitally important for patients, families and health professionals to know where and how they can get the information they need."

The website also stresses the importance of good communication so dying patients can understand all the medical information and voice their concerns.

This is currently a major concern of the Living Well to the End of Life campaign. Rev Dr James Woodward, vicar of St Mary's Church in Temple Balsall, who is backing the campaign, said many people were in denial about death and tended not to talk about it or prepare for it.

“As a result, many people don't die where they want to, how they want to and with the right level of help and support," he said. "We need to be open and honest about death, and to listen to what people who are facing death actually want to hap-pen to them."

For more information visit www