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Hospital starts ‘Big Conversation’

Getting people to talk about the subject of death and dying can be difficult, but a campaign aimed at encouraging people to be prepared and think about their dying wishes highlights the subject this May.

Dying Matters Week, which runs from 9-15 May, will see staff from York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust start ‘The Big Conversation’, aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement.

Kath Sartain, Lead Nurse for End of Life Care, said: “Talking more openly about dying can help people to make the most of life and to support loved ones. Many of us have strong views about our care and what happens after we die, but if we don’t talk about our wishes these are unlikely to be met.

“Talking about dying won’t make it happen and it doesn’t have to be depressing. It can be a real help to plan ahead and to tell people about your wishes. We want to encourage people to be open about the subject. It’s better to plan for future care and support before you need it.”

The end of life care team will be raising awareness amongst staff and asking them to share their ‘bucket list’ ideas.  A special event is also being held at York Hospital’s Bereavement Suite on 11 May between 2pm and 4pm where people can drop in for a cup of tea and meet the team as well as representatives from chaplaincy, and the stillbirth and neonatal death charity (SANDS).

Expert help will be available to provide advice on subjects such as advanced care planning, spiritual care and advice for family and carers.

Kath continued: “We’re really keen on getting people talking, if you don’t talk to your loved ones about their wishes you may be risking leaving it too late. With an ageing population and people living for longer with life limiting illnesses, discussing dying is increasingly important and we want people to see that help and support is available.”

We're starting the big conversation by asking people what's on your bucket list? Add your top five to our online survey

06 May 2016

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“Talking more openly about dying can help people to make the most of life and to support loved ones."

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