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Dying Matters Awareness Week 2018
14 May 2018

The annual Dying Matters Awareness Week aims to remove the stigma attached to talking about dying and bereavement - and to improve end of life care.

Dr Jon Price is the end-of-life clinical lead for NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and strongly supports the national awareness week.

Dr Price said: “It has been said that the way we care for the dying is an indicator of how we care for all sick and vulnerable people. It is a measure of society as a whole and it is a litmus test for health and social care services.

“It’s important we create a society where people feel empowered to talk about making a will, about how they would like to be cared for and ensuring we can have dignity, control and peace in death.”

According to Ipsos/Mori polls from the past decade, 88 per cent of people want an open discussion of a terminal prognosis and around 90 per cent want to die at home/their care home or a hospice.

But figures from NHS Public Health Intelligence show only around one third of people have discussed death and dying with anyone, and only around 50 per cent of people die at a location of their choosing.

Dr Price added: “Looking after people and their families towards the end of their life is an important part of the work of all GPs and community nurse teams - and some of the most rewarding.

“The key steps to providing good care are identifying that the patient is coming to the end of their life, carry out advance care planning and have bereavement counselling available when it is needed.”

Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 members across England and Wales, to find out more visit dyingmatters.org/.

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