People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to take part in a pilot scheme to break down taboos about planning for end of life care.

The How I Want To Go campaign has been launched to encourage people to record their wishes.

The pilot is being run by the South Staffordshire End of Life Care Alliance to encourage people to consider the things that might matter most to them towards the end of their life and capture them online.

The responses will also be part of a research project, looking at the challenges and benefits that people experience of making plans for end of life preferences. 

Lead coach for the My Wishes project, Ian Leech, said:

“We hope that the campaign will encourage people of any age to record their future wishes about the important things they want the people looking after them to know.

“The My Wishes care plan includes information about you as a person, from favourite foods and movies to the important people who should be involved in decisions about your health if you cannot speak for yourself.

“Anyone can log onto the site and complete the form and even print off a copy to file with their will, Lasting Power of Attorney or other important documents for the future.”

Ian Leech

“Conversations about the future”

Things such as fears for the future, care of loved pets and details in case people cannot speak for themselves in future are all covered.

As part of the project, which is funded by NHS England, if participants agree, the care plans will be shared with a senior nurse at St Giles Hospice.

The information in all of the care plans will be reviewed to produce an anonymised report to help healthcare team and voluntary organisations consider how to best record people’s wishes and what they might be. 

“As an alliance, we believe that not enough people are having conversations about the future, which can mean their wishes aren’t heard if they become ill and can’t speak or communicate for themselves.

“This project will hopefully encourage people to start important conversations and make plans for the future, which can help prevent future crises and most importantly will make sure people receiving the care they want, rather than the care people think they want.

“We also want to get people’s feedback on the process of filling in the forms, the discussions they had and any challenges they hit along the way.

“This information is a vital part in helping improve end of life care locally.”

Ian Leech

People wanting to take part can visit www.mywishes.co.uk/southstaffs.

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