Facing the Challenges of vCJD: Training video

Wiltshire Social Services
County Hall
Wiltshire BA14 8LE.


How do health and social care staff learn quickly and get it
right first time in meeting the needs of someone with variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)? How can families be helped in the
future? This is the motivation for making this enlightening
training video. It captures the experience and the work of the
parents of Stephen Churchill, the first victim recognised to have
died from this disease, and of Wiltshire Council social services,
and was made by both of them.

VCJD is affecting a younger age group than CJD has done and is
responsible for more than 65 deaths in the UK. The Association of
Directors of Social Services have issued practice guidelines on the

The training material is clear and informative covering the need
for “total” care of the whole family, including the needs for
emotional and financial support, aids to living, respite care,
co-ordination of services, postmortem and issues related to the
disposal of the body, confidentiality and national agencies
providing advice and help. It is good to see service users being so
respectful of the multi-cultural approach to care.

The presentation has a strong user perspective in that we learn
mainly from the insights of Mr and Mrs Churchill. They explore
their anger, fears as well as the material needs. Much of what they
say is applicable to any situation of coping with someone
experiencing a progressive condition.

This training video would be helpful for all agencies working
with those affected by vCJD including hospices and those providing
palliative care. It is engaging and provokes discussions on many
aspects of care.

Stephen died in 1995. The experience of the Churchill family
will help other families and health and social care professionals
provide more sensitive care.

David Oliviere is Macmillan principal lecturer social
work and palliative care, Middlesex University.

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