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Dying Matters – end of life care, let’s talk about it….

14 May 2018

We often shy away from talking about the subject of dying and for many people it is still taboo. This week, 14-20 May, it’s national Dying Matters week,  a national campaign that runs every year and aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and encourages people to make plans for the end of their life.

Our teams know having those early conversations are hard which is why we support patients and relatives every day in end of life care and work closely with our hospice partners across Hampshire, supporting them in number of ways to approach the topic of dying , helping them to put the appropriate plans in place.

Dying Matters 2018

How we help families
Our patient and services users are at the centre of everything we do and this is critical when providing end of life care. Across the Trust, all our staff are trained on end of life care planning and with our palliative care patients to ensure they have individualised care plan for the last weeks of their life; these will reflect their wishes, needs and preferences. 

We support patients in receiving the care they want and help them identify what that care looks like and where/how it will be delivered.  We also discuss important decisions, including whether they wish to receive treatments such as resuscitation or organ donation. We work alongside, and signpost, to several voluntary organisations that can help people with medications costs, accessing personal care or where to find help and advice about their condition.

Staff awareness
The Trust has a large number of Champions that are staff members, who work hard to help raise awareness about end of life care across our organisation.

Julia Lake, our Interim Divisional Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, says:

“Dying is understandably a topic that lots of people aren’t comfortable talking about. This awareness week is a good time to broach the subject with our patient and families.

“When someone is at point of dying, there is a lot of information to digest. Our staff encourages our patients to talk and share their worries, so we can help them navigate what’s happening and signpost them to the right places.

“We find that when we start having those conversations sometimes that it can be things that seem relative small to others can cause a real concern. It really helps put families and patients at ease knowing that there is help and support available.”

Trish Phillips, Specialist Heart Failure Nurse, provides end of life treatment to patients across Hampshire:  “Looking after people at the end of their life is a privilege and helping them facilitate their wishes, knowing that these are the last things they want, can be deeply fulfilling.”

Find out more about the support available
There are several drop-in events to come and find out more about end of life planning and the support there is available to you.

These include:

  • Fareham Community Hospital – Tuesday 15 May, 1.30 – 3.30pm

  • Gosport War Memorial Hospital – Friends Café  – Wednesday 16 May, 10.30am – 1.30pm