Dying Matters Week at Basildon Hospital

During Dying Matters week the Palliative Care Team from Basildon and Thurrock Hospital arranged a stall in main reception on Tuesday10th May. This year’s theme was called “The Big Conversation” and emphasised the need to have early and open conversations about death, dying and bereavement.  

The team at BTUH adapted this slightly calling theirs; Cultivating Conversation. This encouraged staff and public who visited the stand to write their preferred choices and ideas on a themed sunflower gift tag. Those taking part placed their gift tag on our ornamental “Conversation Tree” and were given a sunflower seed in a pot as a reminder of their Dying Matters idea. We hope this will then keep the concept in people’s minds as their sunflower grows.

Throughout the day we had a steady stream of over 150 people visiting the stall, including staff from various departments, visitors and patients alike.  People were happy to stop by and openly discuss subjects including; their funeral wishes and the importance of paying for this before they die, decisions around DNACPR, preferred place of care/death and the importance of their friends and family being around them. Other wishes included the importance of writing a Will, Organ donation, symptom control and lastly how they would like to be remembered. 

Overall the information captured, sat firmly alongside the teams Building on the Best project work around Advanced Care Planning and the development of Nurse led DNACPR. It also reinforced the fact that; “Talking about dying won’t make it happen.”