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Hospice UK to host conference on advance care planning

Author: Dr Sarah Russell
21 September 2017
  • Dr Sarah Russell, Hospice UK’s Head of Research and Clinical Innovation

Hospice UK is hosting a conference on advance care planning in Basingstoke next month. Dr Sarah Russell, Hospice UK’s Head of Research and Clinical Innovation, will be one of the event's speakers, and here she explains what the day will cover and the importance of planning a good death.

We are all going to die – that much is certain. The uncertainty is about when, where and how.

On October 19, a one-day conference open to everyone will discuss advance care planning. What are the needs, challenges and solutions in different populations and settings? What good practice, ideas, and innovation can we share? How can we work together to plan and deliver good end of life care?

At the event we will have people sharing their thoughts and experiences from all sorts of settings including the hospice, community, home, hospital and academia backgrounds. So wherever you work, whatever you do, come and join us.

It is not always easy to imagine, think or talk about one’s death, not to mention make a decision, write it down and then share it with others. I am not sure that there will ever be a “one size that fits all” approach.  I have also been reflecting upon the emotional impact of preparing and planning to talk about dying, and I have been thinking about what it might be like for some of our speakers as well as the audience.

The day will start off with a performance of Homeward Bound, a play about love, relationships, compassion and empathy in the face of pancreatic cancer. How must it feel to play over and over the story, feel the emotions and respond to an audiences’ reaction? How do we as an audience hear the story, and consider how it might affect our day-to-day practice and relationships?

We will also hear from doctors, nurses, researchers and carers about their experiences; what works and what does not. How can we learn well from each other?

At the end of the day, Fiona Murphy MBE, creator of the Swan End of Life bereavement model in hospitals will share her experiences and thinking on its implementation. Her story illustrates how important it is to pay attention to the small details, and to consider what makes the difference at the end of life.

Advance care planning in all its forms is concerned with living with the certainty of your death at an uncertain time. In a time of political, economic and social unpredictability, taking time to consider together what a good death could be is important.

For more information about the event and to book visit Advance planning to support a good death: the need, challenges and solutions

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