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First 'Good Death Cafe' is a huge success

Good Death Cafe May 2015

Over 200 people attended the George Eliot Hospital “Good Death Cafe” on Thursday 21st May held to raise awareness and provide helpful advice to the public and local professionals about dying, death and bereavement. The aim of the event was to help people plan for ‘end of life’ in a positive and sensitive manner.

The event was really busy and stall holders provided advice, handed out leaflets and talked to residents, staff and representatives from the local health community to help make the end of life experience better, both for themselves, their loved ones and people they may care for.

George Eliot Hospital End of Life Care Specialist Nurse, Kristy Clayton, said: “This was our first event of this kind and it aimed to provide support and advice to make a difficult event in life just that little bit easier to prepare for.

“I would like to thank all of the stall holders and staff for giving up their time to help out and we were overwhelmed by the numbers of people that came along”

Local Registered General Nurse, Mary Esi Sysum from Haven Nursing Home said: “This event was really excellent and should be repeated regularly. I was able to meet many of the people I come into contact with during my job and also come away with leaflets, advice and contacts that I can speak to in the future.”

This end of life event was organised to support ‘Dying Matters Awareness Week’ (18th – 24th May 2015), organised by the ’Dying Matters Coalition’ to encourage people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week, events and activities are being held up and down the country to raise awareness about end of life issues.

The theme of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2015 was ‘You only die once’, or #YODO, an action-focused phrase emphasising that we only get one chance to have our dying wishes met, which is why it’s vital to talk, plan and make arrangements for the end of life – before it’s too late.

Stall holders included specialist George Eliot Hospital health, bereavement and support services, representatives from Macmillan Information Service, local hospices, funeral directors, George Eliot Hospital Chaplaincy and family support services. You could even have a hand massage provided by the Oasis project, which was set up to help patients experiencing a high level of anxiety about their hospital visits through the use of relaxation techniques and aromatherapy.

Plenty of staff from the George Eliot Hospital were on hand to guide visitors and answer questions during the event.

For further information on the Dying Matters Coalition please call freephone 08000 214466 or email info@dyingmatters.org, or visit the website at www.dyingmatters.org 

Notes to editors

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust is one of 30,000 members of the national Dying Matters Coalition, all of whom have an interest in supporting the changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement. Members include organisations from the health and care sectors, community groups, social care and housing, faith groups, the legal profession and the funeral sector.

Set up by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) in 2009, the Dying Matters Coalition aims to encourage people to talk about their own end of life issues with friends, family and loved ones in order to make ‘a good death’ possible for the 500,000 people who die in England each year.

Research for Dying Matters has found that many people have specific wishes about their end of life care or what they would like to happen to them after their death, but a reluctance to discuss these issues makes it much less likely that these will be met. There is a major mismatch between people’s preferences for where they would like to die and their actual place of death: 70% of people would prefer to die at home but more than half currently die in hospital.

The comments in this release represent the views of the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and do not necessarily represent the views of the Dying Matters Coalition or other member organisations.


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