APPG: March 2011

What does the ‘Big Society’ mean in end of life care?

The APPG on Hospice and Palliative Care met in March to consider how the coalition government’s vision of a Big Society can be made a reality in end of life care.

Shedeh Javadzadeh, Buket Gundogan & Michael Ha students at the Mossbourne Academy in Hackney joined MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch Meg Hiller to launch the Dying Matters School Lesson Plan, a practical tool aimed at helping the 22,000 young people who lose a parent or sibling whilst in education each year. NCPC and Dying Matters made a call, strongly endorsed by the APPG members, for all secondary school pupils in England to be taught about issues relating to dying and death as part of the national curriculum.

Bridgit Sam-Bailey Vice Chair of the Lewisham Pensioners Forum highlighted the success of the Home Alone at Christmas campaign which was motivated by her tragically witnessing the loss of two friends who died alone home and were not discovered until days or months later. 

Jean Waters, campaigner and person with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) joined Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association Chief Executive Kirstine Knox in highlighting the importance of ensuring support is made available to everyone is society, including those with neurological conditions.

Members of the parliamentary group responded with enthusiasm, with APPG Treasurer Stuart Andrew MP  and supporter Margot James MP expressing how encouraged they felt that such excellent work was going ahead despite the current financial climate.

Fabian joined parliamentarians in urging members of the audience, including those working in hospices, care homes, hospitals and the community, to write to their MP and explain why the issue was so important for their constituency. In turn parliamentarians pledged to take the messages back to ministers, to ensure the end of life care remains a high-level priority and one of the ways of building truly compassionate communities.

NCPC provides the secretariat to the APPG.

The APPG was preceded by NCPC’s annual Subscriber Forum, which you can read about here.

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