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Novum Law’s head office in Swindon was the place to be for a study day devoted to palliative care best practice last week.

Nearly 40 specialist palliative care nurses and medical specialists from hospitals and community healthcare practices from across Wiltshire and Gloucestershire attended the event to discuss end of life treatment and care for patients.

The event, organised by end of life clinical nurse specialist Helen Brown from the Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust’s palliative care team, featured some excellent expert speakers who spoke passionately about ensuring holistic and joined up care and support for patients nearing the end of their lives and their families.

The thought-provoking topics included: end of life support, the importance of sensitive and clear communication, human rights considerations, the financial assistance available in terms of government benefits to help alleviate financial pressures and the role lawyers can play assisting with legal advice and compensation claims.

The coroner’s office spoke about the purpose of the coroner in certain situations and how they help families as sensitively as possible at a very difficult time. There was also an informative talk on organ donation and how it has saved thousands of lives in the UK.
Lynne Squibb from the asbestos disease support group HASAG inspired all the delegates when she described how she set up the charity with her sister following the death of her beloved father from mesothelioma and how she helps those affected by asbestos-related diseases. Anne Moylan from Mesothelioma UK was also on hand to discuss end of life care for patients with the disease and how they can offer advice and help with advance care planning.

The feedback from delegates was extremely positive with attendees describing the presentations as: “absolutely brilliant”,” thought-provoking”, “interesting and educational” and “inspiring”.

Graeme Chisholm, director of Novum Law and specialist asbestos disease solicitor, said:
“It was an honour to host another study day for healthcare professionals on as important a topic as palliative care following our inaugural end of life care seminar last year.

“The importance of compassionate palliative care, tailored to the individual needs and wishes of adults living with advanced and progressive life-limiting illness and those closest to them, can’t be stressed enough.

“We were delighted to play a part in helping end of life champions in the South West improve their knowledge and share best practice on promoting individualised care both in hospital settings, healthcare practices and in hospices.”