image of The specialist palliative care team’s Belinda Marks, who heads up the team

Belinda Marks, Clinical Lead and staff governor

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is welcoming members of the public to its online public Board meeting on Thursday 28 January 2021, to hear updates on services, how the Trust is supporting the roll-out of covid-19 vaccinations across the district, and first-hand how palliative care continues to support families throughout the pandemic.

Board meetings are an excellent opportunity for people across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Wakefield to learn more about the work of the organisation and its wider involvement in improving healthcare across the region.  Public Board meetings have continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and the Care Trust will once again review the challenges the ongoing pandemic brings and ensure its mental health, community and learning disabilities services continue to provide support to its local communities.

Members of the public will also be able to hear how the Palliative Care service is dealing with the pandemic and changes it has made to continually improve its care for patients.  As gathering feedback from patients’ loved ones can be difficult due to the nature of the service, the Care Trust piloted a new role using volunteers to gather friendly yet vital feedback over the phone.

One volunteer, aged 70, took on the new role when she was no longer able to volunteer in person: “I was delighted to be invited to apply for the Patient/Carer Experience Volunteer role.  Although I haven’t been in the role for very long, I’m finding the experience extremely rewarding.   Having been in contact with both patients and carers I am full of admiration for their cheerfulness, positivity, and willingness to provide feedback.  They have been unanimous in their fulsome praise of the Palliative Care teams, and from the comments received, the teams should be very proud indeed of the caring service they provide.”

Belinda Marks, Clinical Lead and staff governor, shares how important the volunteers are to the service: “The patient and carer feedback volunteers have been incredible in not only helping us to gather regular meaningful feedback, but by ensuring the voices who often go unheard are listened to and valued.  A friendly voice at the end of the phone has proved vital in helping the Palliative Care service provide the best quality care and support that is available to our local communities.”

The Board will also discuss upcoming priorities such as winter planning, covid-19 vaccinations across the district, the chief executive’s monthly report and the monthly performance report.

The live online Board meeting will take place on the Microsoft Teams platform on Thursday 28 January 2021, 8.45am – 10.15am.  For people wishing to attend, please contact the Foundation Office on email: FT@bdct.nhs.uk or phone: 01274 363544.

The next public Board meeting will be Thursday 25 March 2021, timings tbc.