Background: The NewHealth Foundation, a Spanish non-for-profit organisation, is leading the project Compassionate Cities. "We are all one". The project aims to involve citizens in creating communities of care to help people at the end of life phase.
Aim: To design and develop a practical model to engage communities in the process of improving the quality of public palliative care. To empower key advocates of end-of-life care. To evaluate communities' interventions, their feasibility and impact in terms of shared benefit for stakeholders.
Methods: Identification and recruitment of key advocates of care. Design of an innovative model of compassionate cities. Define community of care activities through a triple-dimension methodology: [To Want - To Know - To Do].
Results: An innovative model has been developed: The Collaborating Centre (schools, colleges, cultural centres, professional's associations, patient's associations, NGOs, brotherhoods, churches, etc.) organises the agenda of training events and promotes networking. Citizens set up "care clusters", becoming available to provide care. The Beneficiaries Centres (hospices, nursing homes, residential centres, patient organisations, hospitals, health and social care centres, etc.) contact the clusters when care needs of patients are identified. The palliative care specialist supports Compassionate Communities training and refer patients to clusters. Local Government (also a collaborating centre) encourages awareness campaigns and provides institutional support. Companies collaborate in promoting and funding the project. Six cities in Spain and 3 in Colombia have already been selected and local initiatives are already being promoted (more results to be provided at the Congress).
Conclusion: This model supports people to become the real co-producers of services, as they know which services best respond to their needs.
© 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.