Project to address region’s approach to palliative care

A KEY figure has joined a project which could help shape approaches to palliative care within Dumfries and Galloway.

Liz Forsyth has been appointed as Palliative Care Lead on a 23-month programme developed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership.

Taking up the post, Liz said: “I’m excited to be working with Macmillan on this project.
“It is a tremendous opportunity to work with staff, patients and Carers to co-design a plan for palliative, end-of-life and bereavement care which is effective and appropriate for our diverse region.
“I’m very much aware about how importance this work will be, as is every member of the project team – each of whom brings a raft of experience as well as large networks of contacts in all sectors across the region.
“This will be a real asset to us as we engage with people around what structures are in place, and what can be developed to best serve Dumfries and Galloway.”

Macmillan are providing total funding of £340,000 for the new Macmillan Cancer and Palliative Care Improvement Project, which will include significant engagement work within and beyond Dumfries and Galloway.

Included in the funding is £120,000 to implement improvement initiatives that may be taken forward throughout the project.

Strategic Planning Manager/Commissioner for Cancer, Palliative Care and Children’s Services/Child Health Commissioner Alexandra Little said: “Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership are committed to providing the best possible care and support for people who need palliative and end of life care and bereavement support, regardless of age, diagnosis, gender, nationality, social circumstances or place of residence.
“The aim of the project is to engage with people who both deliver and receive this care and support, so we can better understand how their experience can be improved by effectively planning services and support using the resources that we have available.”
The Macmillan Cancer and Palliative Care Improvement Project has already seen Stella Milson appointed as Cancer Lead and Laura Grierson the Project Support Officer.

Set to take forward the work around palliative care, Liz Forsyth can draw on a wealth of experience from within the voluntary sector, local authority and NHS.

Roles have included working for Community Learning and Development, and serving as Project Co-ordinator supporting low income families back into education, employment and training.

Liz worked within the Health Improvement Team in Annan as a Community Health Development Worker, before taking on her most recent role as a Project Manager with the Locality Management Team in Annandale and Eskdale.

Having previously worked with Carers and clinicians who are delivering palliative care and people in receipt of that care, Liz said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with people, map services and support the development of future pathways for care and treatment.

“We’ll be working to ensure communities can voice what’s important to them, helping to address misconceptions that palliative and end-of-life care are the same thing, and looking to develop meaningful, productive conversation.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the work of the project is asked to contact Laura Grierson by emailing [email protected] or phoning 01387 272725 or ext 32725.