The cities of Seville, Limerick and Bradford are set to become recognised by Public Health Palliative Care International as the first three Compassionate Cities in the World.
Professor Allan Kellehear (Bradford University, UK), Dr Emilio Herrera-Molina (New Health Foundation, Seville, Spain) and Dr Kathleen McLoughlin (Maynooth University / Milford Care Centre, Ireland) are spearheading this development in their respective countries. Here, they explain how they are working with the Mayor and Council in each city.
Professor Kellehear explains “Serious personal crises of illness, dying, death and loss may visit any of us, at any time during the normal course of our lives. A compassionate city is a community that squarely recognises and addresses this social fact.”
Led by local government, through The Mayor’s Office, Compassionate Cities publicly encourage, facilitate, support and celebrate care for one another during life’s most testing moments and experiences. Such experiences are especially linked to life-threatening and life-limiting illness, chronic disability, frail ageing and dementia, grief and bereavement, and the trials and burdens of long-term care.
Dr McLoughlin says “The cities of Seville, Bradford and Limerick will do this by developing a Compassionate City Action Plan with specific actions aligned to 12 social changes outlined in the Charter.”
The actions taking place in Seville, Bradford and Limerick will include:
- Creating an incentives scheme to encourage, celebrate and highlight creative compassionate organisations, events, and individuals.
- Development and roll-out of annually reviewed policies or guidance documents for dying, death, loss and care in schools, workplaces and trade unions.
- Establishing dedicated groups for end-of-life care support in places of worship.
- Setting up community development programmes involving local area citizens in end-of-life care activities and programmes in hospitals and nursing homes.
- Hosting annual exhibitions on the experiences of ageing, dying, death, loss or care in the cities’ museums and art galleries.
- Holding an annual peacetime memorial parade/ceremony representing the major sectors of human loss outside military campaigns.
- Publicly showcasing in print and in social media, local government policies, services, funding opportunities, partnerships, and public events that address ‘compassionate concerns’ associated with living with ageing, life-threatening and life-limiting illness, loss and bereavement, and long-term caring.
- Working with local social or print media to encourage an annual city-wide short story or art competition that helps raise awareness of ageing, dying, death, loss, or caring.
- Supporting the development of plans for end-of-life care, loss and bereavement in conjunction with organisations representing vulnerable groups, e.g. indigenous travelling communities, homeless, imprisoned and immigrants.
Dr Emilio Herrera-Molina, leading Seville to become recognised as the first Compassionate City in Spain, explains: “It is a process that takes time, and the development of a strong relationship with both citizens and the council is important so that a meaningful action plan can be developed, that responds to the needs of the city.” Each city has a formal agreement in place with their respective Mayor and significant interest has been generated through public meetings and existing Compassionate Communities Projects. On October 7th 2016 Limerick will host an International Compassionate Cities Summit and launch their action plan for the next two years.
Find out more . . .
- Public Health Palliative Care International.
- New Health Foundation.
- Milford Care Centre’s Compassionate Communities Project.
- Read previous articles by Libby Sallnow Emilio Herrera-Molino, Kathleen McLoughlin and Katherine Pettus about public health and palliative care on the EAPC Blog.
Save the dates
- International Compassionate Cities Summit, 7 October 2016, Limerick, Ireland; email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
- The 5th International Conference of Public Health Palliative Care International will be held on 18-20 September 2017, Ottawa, Canada. Check website for updates.
We hope to publish more on the subject of Compassionate Cities in the future.