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Dying Matters: What can you do?

08 May 2017

Health Care

Southend University Hospital’s Palliative Care Team will be holding special information events to encourage patients, carers and the local community to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement during Dying Matters Awareness Week.

The week runs from 8-14 May and provides an opportunity to change attitudes towards and raise awareness of end of life issues. This year the team will be asking 'what can you do' with the aim of getting people more active in planning for dying and death, and helping support those who may need it in times of grief and bereavement be they friends, family or in the wider community.

The team, along with colleagues from Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, will be based in Southend University Hospital's Lifestyle Restaurant on Tuesday 9 May between 12pm and 2pm, and in the Education Centre foyer on Thursday 11 May between 11am and 2pm.

Additional events will take place between 9am and 4pm on Wednesday 10 May at Leigh Primary Care Centre and on Thursday 11 May at Central Canvey Primary Care Centre.

At each event staff will be on hand to provide support, advice and practical information on how to help someone cope with death, dying and bereavement including:

  • planning for future care and support
  • telling your loved ones your wishes
  • making a will
  • recording your funeral wishes
  • planning for future care and support
  • registering as an organ donor

Wendy Warner, Palliative Care Lead Nurse at Southend University Hospital, said: "End of life care is high on the agenda, both locally and nationally. During Dying Matters Week we would like to challenge everyone to think - what does it mean to our patients and our friends and relatives?

"End of life care is a patient-centred agenda. It's about making sure that patients' priorities are heard, recorded and acted upon and this means talking about death and dying with patients and their relatives to understand their wishes and thoughts about care for the future."

For more information about Dying Matters Awareness Week please visit www.dyingmatters.org

In addition to information events taking place across Essex people are encouraged to participate in an online campaign via Instagram and share their favourite images of friends, family or pets that have died in a bid to start conversation, celebrate life and acknowledge the reality of death.

The campaign, called Die Well Essex, is supported by health, social care, charities and voluntary groups across the county and reinforces the national Dying Matters Awareness Week 'what can you do' theme.

To get involved upload your picture with a sentence about what it represents and either include the hashtag #DieWellEssex or tag @DieWellEssex.