end of life care
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.
Choice has become the mantra and the mode of modern daily life. When it comes to personal preferences, whether it concerns
While the care sector often receives less attention than the sound bite-ready NHS, we mustn't forget about the significant
Kate's story shows just how important it is for commissioners and service-providers to do their best to help people who are approaching the end of life to stay out of hospital. They can save on costs and beds in a severely over-stretched NHS - and most importantly, they can help make it possible for dying people to be cared for in the place they want to be.
At the height of the summer, Marie and I wrote an open letter to the Chancellor George Osborne urging him to include funding
Mum died on Friday. She had a 'good death'. Those in palliative medicine define a 'good death' as one where the dying person is symptom free, in the place they want to be, with the people they want to be with. Mum died symptom free, in our lounge, with Dad by her side. Saying 'Mum died' might seem blunt to some, but that's what happened. Mum worked in palliative medicine all of her life and as a family we've always spoken about death and end of life care openly and honestly, so it seems only appropriate that we continue that when discussing Mum's death.
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.
Already there is excellent end of life care all over the country, so excellence is not exceptional. It is why we do so well in the international comparisons. But excellence is a long, long way from universal...
Open Letter to Chancellor George Osborne Calling for Better Choice at the End of Life for People Affected By Cancer
We know you recognise the importance of improving end of life care and committed to this in your manifesto. We want you to keep that promise and ensure that people who are nearing the end of their life are supported to die in the place and manner of their choosing.
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.