The way we talk about Dying Matters

Communications TeamNews

Our End of Life and Pastoral and Spiritual Care teams are encouraging people to get talking about death, dying and grief in whatever way, shape or form works for them for Dying Matters Awareness Week.

End of Life Lead Nurse, Alison Redhead

End of Life Lead Nurse, Alison Redhead

The national campaign, which runs from 6 to 12 May, aims to open up conversations around death and dying. This year’s theme focuses on the language that we use, and conversations we have, around death and dying with healthcare professionals.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH) are working together as NHS Humber Health Partnership (NHSHHP). Our teams across Hull, Scunthorpe and Grimsby are holding various events across the week.

Alex Wray, Matron for End of Life at HUTH, said: “When a patient is in hospital and coming towards the end of their life, the elephant in the room is sometimes having the courage to have those difficult conversations about death and dying. Whether it’s with healthcare professionals, family, friends, or colleagues, we’re encouraging everyone to have these important conversations and to think about the words we use to have them.”

Chair of the local Dying Matters group in North Lincolnshire, Alison Redhead, who also works as an End of Life Lead Nurse at NLaG, said: “Honest, timely discussions about death and dying are so important, as this can aid in ensuring the person’s dying wishes are respected and carried out to meet their individual needs at the end of their life. We hope that speaking honestly about death means people get the information and support they need, when they need it.”

The North Lincolnshire Dying Matters group – which is made up of representatives from across the hospital, as well as hospices, charities, carers support services, funeral directors, and solicitors – will be out on the following days:

  • Tuesday 7 May, 10am to 2pm, Arc Community Centre, Westcliff, Scunthorpe
  • Wednesday 8 May, 10.30am to 12pmn ‘Living later life well’, Trinity Church, Barton Upon Humber
  • Friday 10 May, 10am to 3pm, Morrisons supermarket, Scunthorpe
  • Friday 10 May, 9am to 3pm, St Johns Market, Scunthorpe
  • Friday 17 May, 10am to 3pm, RDASH bus, Tesco car park, Scunthorpe
  • Friday 17 May, 9am to 3pm, Freeman Street Market, Grimsby.
End of Life Matron, Alex Wray

End of Life Matron, Alex Wray

Make sure you pop along and have a chat. It could be about how to start a conversation on how to record your wishes for your funeral, considering registering as an organ donor or speaking to your loved ones.

In Hull, the team has joined up with Dove House Hospice, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, City Health Care Partnership, and local bereavement services, who will be manning stands at Hull Royal Infirmary (HRI) on Tuesday 7 May, Wednesday 8 May and Thursday 9 May between 11am and 3pm, in the main foyer of HRI. Staff will be available for a chat, advice, and support.

Also, at HRI in the Haven, which is located on the first floor, a short, animated film will be screened throughout the week featuring honest, touching accounts from three people. Using their personal experiences, the film explores their approaches to language at the end of life. The accounts are from Patricia, who has an incurable illness, Mumtaz whose husband Rashik died from kidney cancer, and Lucy who is a palliative medicine consultant.

Local groups, teams of health care professionals and members of the public are also invited to pop along to the Haven on Wednesday 8 May between 9.15am and 4.15pm, where the National Advance Care Plan Day Conference, which is being held in Norwich, is being live streamed. You can pop in and out during the event. We will be asking how will you ‘get your house in order?’. You might decide to ‘make a pledge’ to document your wishes within an Advance Care Plan. You might simply decide to learn more about this important area and have a conversation about your wises with a loved one.