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29th April 2022

St Helena Hospice talks dying matters

Changing the conversation this Dying Matters Awareness Week.

St Helena Hospice is encouraging people to talk about dying, death and grief, and to listen to and support people who are dying and who have been bereaved.

This week, 2nd - 6th May, marks Dying Matters Awareness Week, a national annual campaign to highlight the importance of having conversations about being in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and with the right care and support. 

The campaign also highlights the importance of ensuring quality end of life care is accessible to everyone. Hospice UK reports that right now people across the UK are dying without the support they need, and estimates almost 67,000 people have died at home without access to specialist care since the start of the pandemic.

In north east Essex, St Helena Hospice works with other local health and social care partners to encourage people to plan ahead and share their choices and wishes by completing the My Care Choices Record, enabling them to die well with dignity and choice in their preferred place of care. 

With consent, these choices can then be recorded on the My Care Choices Register (MCCR); an electronic record of a person’s decisions about the kind of care they wish to receive in the future if they were more unwell, and their preference for the place of care at end of life.

The register can be accessed securely at any hour of the day or night by staff responsible for the person’s care, such as GPs, community nurses, hospital staff, ambulance services, and St Helena, which hosts the register.

83.3% of people in north east 2021/22 who had an MCCR register entry had recorded their preferred place of care/death before they died, up by 3% from the previous year.

75.9% of people who recorded a preferred place of care/death in 2021/22, died there. 

Dying Matters Week highlights that there is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it, to plan for it, and to listen to each other. 

Image: My Care Choices Register

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