Compassionate Communities…..How to Begin (June 2012) The evaluation of the national Dying matters week in one region in March 2010 identified the need to engage with the community as an ongoing initiative rather than just a one week campaign every year. Merseyside Clinical Networks Palliative and End of Life Care Network, local hospice and voluntary leads and community organisations partnered together to engage their communities. Mary Matthiesen, Director of The Conversations for Life programme provided materials to support them, facilitated local engagement events, produced summary reports / action plans and delivered follow up sessions based on mobilizing the existing strengths in these communities. Local hospices or community volunteer agencies including VCA Wirral, Halton Haven Hospice, Liverpool PCT /Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool, Queenscourt Hospice, Southport, Western Cheshire PCT/Hospice of the Good Shepard, and Woodlands Hospice championed the initiative in their communities.

135 community group leaders have been engaged across 6 localities. Self-directed, community-led awareness initiatives are underway. Outcomes were presented at the International Society of Advance Care Planning & End of Life Care and published in the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Journal (June 2012).

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