The General Medical Council.
The GMC consultative conference entitled ‘End of Life Treatment and Care: Good Practice in Decision-making’ attended by around 180 different specialists.
There were two main objectives for the conference;
- To provide an opportunity for wider debate and discussion about the key issues and challenges in end of life care and how these impact on the guidance the GMC, as the medical regulator, gives to doctors.
- To provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss and comment on the GMC’s draft guidance in more detail.
Dead Earnest’s role was to focus the minds of the attendees on the fact that their policies affect real lives every day and to encourage reflection for the rest of the day on all the issues raised. We aimed to use our performance to ask the right questions, prompting thoughts and discussions.
Dead Earnest worked closely with two respiratory consultants to research a condition called COPD, which formed the basis of the performance. They focused on interactions with a number of NHS employees and how their reluctance to discuss the patient’s final wishes resulted in him dying in a way that was contrary to his desires. The performance also tackled the difficulty in balancing the patient’s wishes with those of his family’s.
The performance was followed by a full-room discussion, facilitated by Dead Earnest, surrounding the issues. This discussion was recorded, forming an important part of the consultation process. Later in the afternoon we ran smaller workshops in which the participants could question the characters and further discuss ways to prevent such scenarios. The aim of this interaction was to really help the delegates understand the impact their decisions would have for the patients that they treat.
“The performance and facilitated discussion were very well received on the day and we think it was a very effective way of setting the tone for the day and engaging people in the issues – the buzz during the first tea break immediately following the performance was striking.
I think that the performance piece and facilitated discussion contributed to these high levels of satisfaction with the event.”
Suzanne Wood, Policy Adviser, Standards and ethics team (020 7189 5414)
And from a delegate…
“Performance piece demonstrated all too clearly how missed opportunities/poor communication can prevent patient access to good EOL care and clinical management”.