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Acclaimed end of life care drama released on DVD

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The experiences of a woman whose husband died from pancreatic cancer that was turned into a play and used to train nurses has now been released on DVD.

The play Homeward Bound, based on the story of Seth and Lesley Goodburn, was written and developed in 2016 by Brian Daniels and the National Council for Palliative Care to help improve care.

As previously reported by Nursing Times, it focusses on the little things that mean a lot and follows Ms Goodburn’s experience of supporting her husband from his diagnosis to his death 33 days later.

In that time, although much of his care was excellent, other issues prevented him from dying at home as he wanted.

Seemingly trivial issues, like hospital car parks or GP appointment systems, meant Ms Goodburn was not with her husband at key moments, or life-changing information was not communicated well.

Ms Goodburn approached the NCPC with her experiences so that others might not have to go through the same situations.

Since its premiere in 2016, the play has been performed 16 times to nurses, doctors and other hospital staff, as part of training and service improvement programmes.

Thanks to support from Pancreatic Cancer UK, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, St Giles Hospice and NHS England, the short drama has now been filmed.

A workbook has also been produced, with questions and conversation starters to help staff reflect on the drama and their own experiences.

Ms Goodburn said: “Seth and I had support from many great people, but there were still some things that made a terrible experience even worse. Brian has done a wonderful job in turning this into a drama, and now with the DVD it will be even more widely available.

“We know that people are finding this useful as a training resource, and now it’s even easier to learn from what happened to Seth and to me. By making this resource more widely available we are creating change,” she added.

National Council for Palliative

Claire Henry

Claire Henry

Claire Henry, chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care, said: “End of life care has to be centred on the individual.

“Seth and Lesley’s story shows what can go wrong, but through this DVD and the study pack we also know how to get it right,” she said.

Sarah Bell, head of services at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Good end of life care can make the world of difference to people with pancreatic cancer and their families, particularly as the vast majority of patients have precious little time.

“Tragically 80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, and those patients will on average live for just two to six months,” she noted.

Homeward Bound has also been nominated in two categories at the Patient Experience Awards, with the results to be announced on 21 March.

The DVD and education resource will be available for sale through the NCPC website.

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