Palliative Care

Our Commitment Is That Every Person Nearing the End of Their Life Should Expect a Good Death

Ben Gummer | Posted 06.07.2016 | UK Politics
Ben Gummer

A good death - peaceful, dignified, reflective, compassionate, in the loving embrace of those closest to the dying person - is already a happy end for hundreds of thousands of people across our nation. In making this commitment, we make that promise universal, so that every dying person in England can live in anticipation of a good death.

How to Talk to Children About Death and Dying

Clare Periton | Posted 13.04.2016 | UK Parents
Clare Periton

At some point, children will ask about dying. We know they require honest answers, but it can be very difficult to know the best way to talk about the subject. I have put together some different approaches to consider when talking to your children about the different types of death and grief.

No Matter What the Circumstance, Play Should Be a Part of a Child's Life

Clare Periton | Posted 26.02.2016 | UK Parents
Clare Periton

Play is incredibly important to a child's emotional wellbeing. It is even more important for children with special needs to feel integrated into everyday society, doing the same things as their peers without judgement or limitation.

Reflections on Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment and What the Future May Hold

Dr Mark Taubert | Posted 21.02.2016 | UK
Dr Mark Taubert

A report from a public policy think tank in Wales has highlighted the need for more coordinated approaches to advance care planning. There is a need to focus on a subcategory of this very broad area: Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment.

Quality End-Of-Life Care Must Be Universal

Clare Periton | Posted 13.02.2016 | UK
Clare Periton

People die all the time, much as babies are born all the time. What lies at the centre of good palliative care is the ability to listen and shape treatment and care around the individual, thinking about their needs, not just their symptoms.

A Thank You Letter to David Bowie From a Palliative Care Doctor

Dr Mark Taubert | Posted 18.01.2016 | UK
Dr Mark Taubert

Whilst realisation of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation.

Britain's Celebrated Care Sector Can't Run on Praise Alone

Clare Periton | Posted 22.12.2015 | UK
Clare Periton

I am well aware, of course, that hospices are by no means alone in excelling in their field. The charity sector as a whole consistently provides world class, specialist support across a range of areas and increasingly fills the gaps of previously State commissioned services.

In Defense of the Liverpool Care Pathway

Nick Cartwright | Posted 17.12.2015 | UK Politics
Nick Cartwright

It was announced in the media, to general applause, that after the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was subjected to almost universal criticism NICE have ...

Life to the Full

Ally Paget | Posted 17.11.2015 | UK Politics
Ally Paget

This research comes at a watershed moment for the relationship between charities and government. Life to the Full represents our plea for both to be ambitious - ambitious for what they can achieve when they work together, and ambitious for this too-long-overlooked group of children.

It is the Greatest Privilege to Help Someone at Their Last Moments

Elizabeth Wolley | Posted 05.11.2015 | UK Lifestyle
Elizabeth Wolley

When I walked on set to film the new Marie Curie advert, it was not as an actor but as a Marie Curie Nurse. It was an odd feeling but I was able to slip into my role when I began speaking to one of the actors who had only recently experienced a bereavement.

Improvements in End of Life Care Must Be Funded, And 20,000 People Agree With Us

Nikki Hill | Posted 30.10.2015 | UK
Nikki Hill

At the height of the summer, Marie and I wrote an open letter to the Chancellor George Osborne urging him to include funding for improvements in end o...

The Last Days of Life

Naomi Barrow | Posted 20.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Naomi Barrow

I can't imagine how it must feel to wonder which part of your body might fail on you next, to know that you might not live to the weekend and will never feel the sun on your skin again. Yet, she faces it with a dignity and grace that most of us can't muster when faced with the prospect of a half-hour trip on a weird smelling bus, never mind much else.

Mum Is Dying

Naomi Barrow | Posted 13.10.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Naomi Barrow

I don't know how long Mum has left. I know that she's tired, that she's been battling this illness for a long time and it's not a nice position to be in. We're lucky because we have an amazing network of friends around us who constantly offer lifts, food, hugs, and an ear.

Mum Wanted to Die So She Wouldn't Be a Burden - But Convincing Her to Live Gave Us Both a Gift Beyond Measure

Baroness Ilora Finlay | Posted 03.09.2016 | UK
Baroness Ilora Finlay

I will never regret that our law protected her; preventing her from ending her life when she was vulnerable to despair. Those four years we shared were the most precious gift. Without them, Mum would have missed what she described as some of the richest times in her life and we would have missed understanding just what an amazing person she was.

I Miss Our House Being Noisy

Naomi Barrow | Posted 05.08.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Naomi Barrow

When I get up on a morning now, everyone is still asleep. I get up in silence, creep around the house getting ready for my run before returning, showering, and getting ready for work as quietly as possible. I walk through the door on an evening now and I see and hear nobody. It's silent.

Palliative Care Services Reform - England Needs to Heed Its Neighbours

Baroness Ilora Finlay | Posted 06.07.2016 | UK
Baroness Ilora Finlay

England has the chance through my Private Member's Bill to improve care. The Bill would require all commissioners to ensure their patient population has access to seven day specialist palliative care services, that patients and their families have a clear point of contact in a crisis, that there is advice available at all times to front line staff caring for dying patients and that such staff have all received core training in good end of life care.

Lets Talk About Death, So We Can Get on With Living

Stephanie Nimmo | Posted 06.07.2016 | UK Lifestyle
Stephanie Nimmo

We really don't handle the whole issue of dying well in this country do we? It's just not something spoken about, a taboo subject. We are all going to die so why do we not make sure our wishes are clear so that whenever or wherever it happens those who are left behind know what to do.

The BBC Drama Department Is A Terrible Place To Die

Jonathan Ellis | Posted 10.06.2016 | UK
Jonathan Ellis

Walford and Holby aside, I have visited hospices across the UK and I am yet to see one that would be described anything like "dingy" or "grotty".

Consider Evidence, Not Emotion or Off-The-Shelf Opinion, on 'Right to Die'

Baroness Ilora Finlay | Posted 29.05.2016 | UK
Baroness Ilora Finlay

I don't bulk-buy my opinions. I don't rely solely on emotion, polls of the general public or even the views of "people like me", to determine my position on where the balance of the law should rest. I consider the evidence.

Palliative Care Bill - We Need More Efficient and Equitable Care and Support for Those Most in Need

Baroness Ilora Finlay | Posted 01.06.2016 | UK Politics
Baroness Ilora Finlay

With 355,000 people a year in need of palliative care in England alone, this conversation seems long overdue. The recent 'Dying without Dignity' report highlighted the problems and failings of a system that has the knowledge of what needs to be done but fails to make it happen.

Why Am I Blogging About Terminal Cancer?

Naomi Barrow | Posted 24.05.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Naomi Barrow

As a young person living with a parent who has a terminal diagnosis, I've discovered a fairly considerable hole in the people-dying-support-system stuff. There is a lot of support out there for children with a close family member who is dying; there is a fair amount of support for spouses and for parents of people who are dying.

Failings in Care Should Not Pave the Way for a Physician Assisted Dying Bill

Baroness Ilora Finlay | Posted 22.05.2016 | UK
Baroness Ilora Finlay

There is no excuse for turning a blind eye to distress; those providing care, whether care assistant, family, nurse or doctor need to know they are supported in doing what the patient needs, not shackled by risk averse attitudes that paralyse common sense and hinder care provision.

You Only Die Once - Why Dying Matters

Joe Levenson | Posted 14.05.2016 | UK
Joe Levenson

Whether it's through writing a will, making financial plans, planning for our future care and support including through making a Lasting Power of Attorney, or deciding whether we want to join the organ donor, all of us can increase the likelihood of getting our wishes met and reduce the chances of life after our death becoming even more difficult for the people we care about.

What Does Quality Really Mean in Hospice Care?

Jonathan Ellis | Posted 09.05.2015 | UK
Jonathan Ellis

More recently, the new inspection regime introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - the regulator for health and adult social care in England - is helping provide a better understanding of quality in hospice care.

What Do You Know About Hospice Care?

Jonathan Ellis | Posted 14.12.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Jonathan Ellis

The reality is that hospice care is delivered in a surprising range of settings, including in people's homes. In fact 90% of hospice care is delivered away from a hospice building. Hospice teams are also involved in educating staff working in other settings such as care homes and hospitals.