Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Exploring inequalities in end of life care and bereavement

Lorraine Hansford’s fellowship at the Wellcome Centre focuses on inequalities in access to end of life care, using narrative approaches to advance understanding of the ways in which end of life care services may be failing to meet the needs of those living on a very low income. The research explores the notion of ‘a good death’, working in partnership with community organisations, health practitioners and those with lived experience to sensitively understand the ways in which poverty impacts on people’s experiences of dying and bereavement.

By critically analysing issues of class and culture in relation to death, the project aims to understand how fear, stigma and trust impact on communication and relations (between patients, carers, families, social networks, healthcare professionals and organisations). It will explore possibilities for new and relevant ways of introducing and talking about death and supporting the bereaved, and the implications for public health approaches to palliative care.

This research is supporting ongoing work for the Lancet Commission ‘Value of Death’.

Colab Connect

Lorraine Hansford has been awarded funding from the Wellcome Trust to carry out a secondment at Colab Exeter for 12 months from Sept 2020. Colab is a ‘wellbeing hub’ hosting over 30 statutory and voluntary agencies that support people with complex needs (e.g. homelessness, mental ill health, addiction). Focussing on the Colab Connect pilot, Lorraine will evaluate the ways in which different action learning approaches are used by this collaboration of statutory, voluntary and community services to co-design and test an integrated community-based approach to the provision of mental health support in Exeter.

For more information contact: Lorraine Hansford