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Dying Matters Awareness Week | How you can help shape palliative and end of life care services in Norfolk and Waveney

People in Norfolk and Waveney are being encouraged to talk about death and the practical aspects of preparing for it to make sure their end of life wishes are known and met.

Next week is Dying Matters Awareness Week and the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system is supporting a number of online events running from 10 - 16 May 2021.

This is a chance for partners, organisations and individuals to come together and open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement.  Where people die is changing, with more people than ever choosing to die at home. In response, this year’s Dying Matters Awareness week will focus on the importance of being in ‘a good place’ to die.

The quality and comfort of people’s deaths, and whether the right care and support was in place, is often important not only to the patient but also their family. There is no right or wrong place to die; everyone will have a different view or preference. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it in an open and honest way. Speaking about death and personal choices in advance can have a significant impact on improving end of life experiences

To support this important message health and care services in Norfolk and Waveney are looking for people’s help to make sure they have the right palliative and end of life care services in place. People can find out more and complete a survey online:

Pam Fenner, Chair of Norfolk and Waveney ICS Palliative and End of Life Care Collaborative, said: “When someone dies there are many decisions to make, along with all the practicalities to sort out. If their wishes have not been fully prepared and recorded, those left behind not only have to cope with their own bereavement, but also with having to make decisions about what to do with possessions, belongings and how to best handle personal affairs.

“We want to make sure that everyone has their wishes respected and can reach the end of their life in the place they would wish, which is often at home, in as much comfort and with as much dignity as possible.”

St Nicholas Hospice Care, St Helena Hospice, and St Elizabeth Hospice and UEA Health and Social Care Partners are joining forces to highlight Dying Matters Awareness Week. They are hosting a number of online events in collaboration with various organisations and inspiring individuals across the region to create a space for us to think and talk about what it means to be in a good place to die.

You can get involved by attending the advertised events, taking the opportunity to listen or have a conversation about end of life care with friends and colleagues, posting stories on social media, or actively taking steps to document your own preferences and sharing these wishes with the people you care about. People approaching end of life are also encouraged to register an advance care plan with their care provider so services can do their best to support your choices. 

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