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Dying Matters awareness week: 'be ready for it'

25 April 2013


Southend University Hospital has joined forces with South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT), Southend Borough Council’s registration and bereavement services and local healthcare organisations to encourage everyone to think and speak about death during a special Dying Matters awareness week next month.

It runs from May 13 to 19 with the aims of changing attitudes to and raising awareness about death, dying and bereavement and encouraging everyone to talk more openly. The event will also help publicise the range of services available locally to both the public and healthcare professionals. The focus will be providing support, advice and important contact information for anybody living with a life-limiting illness, including patients, carers and bereaved loved ones.

Southend University Hospital and its partner organisations invite visitors to attend an open day on Monday 13 May at the Civic Centre , Victoria Avenue, Southend, SS2 6ER between 9.30am and 3pm when topics covered will include:

  • Advance care planning information
  • How to plan for your future care and wishes
  • Information about End of Life care tools and how they can be used to support end of life conversations and decisions
  • Local funeral services, information and planning
  • Tissue and organ donation
  • Bereavement

Wendy Warner, Southend's palliative care lead nurse, said "The most important thing is that we make patients feel as comfortable as possible and make every effort to fulfil their wishes. By listening to them carefully, acknowledging their views and understanding them as individuals, we hope to give them the time to come to terms with death and make any necessary preparations for the future. These could include where they would wish to die, who and what they would like with them or simply the format of their funeral. It's all about giving them those important choices".