Article Abstract

Compassionate communities: design and preliminary results of the experience of Vic (Barcelona, Spain) caring city

Authors: Xavier Gómez-Batiste, Silvia Mateu, Susagna Serra-Jofre, Magda Molas, Sarah Mir-Roca, Jordi Amblàs, Xavier Costa, Cristina Lasmarías, Marta Serrarols, Alvar Solà-Serrabou, Candela Calle, Allan Kellehear

Abstract

Background: A program of Compassionate City or Community (CC) has been designed and developed in the City of Vic (43,964 habitants, Barcelona, Spain), based on The Compassionate City Charter and other public health literature and experiments, with the joint leadership of the City Council and the Chair of Palliative Care at the University of Vic, and as an expansion of a comprehensive and integrated system of palliative care.
Methods: The program started with an assessment of needs of the city as identified by 48 social organizations with a foundational workshop and a semi-structured survey. After this assessment, the mission, vision, values and aims were agreed. The main aims consisted in promoting changes in social and cultural attitudes toward the end of life (EoL) and providing integrated care for people with advanced chronic conditions and social needs such as loneliness, poverty, low access to services at home, or conflict. The selected slogan was “Living with meaning, dignity, and support the end of life”.
Results: The program for the first year has included 19 activities (cultural, training, informative, and mixed) and followed by 1,260 attendants, and the training activities were followed by 147 people. Local and regional sponsors are funding the initiative. After a year, a quantitative and qualitative evaluation was performed, showing high participation and satisfaction of the attendants and organizations. In the second year, the care for particular vulnerable people defined as targets (EoL and social factors described before) will start with volunteers with more organizations to join the project.
Conclusions: The key identified factors for the initial success are: the strong joint leadership between social department of the Council and the University; clear aims and targets; high participation rates; the limited size of the geographical context; which allowed high participation and recognition; and the commitment to evaluate results.