Dying Matters to launch in Wales

Date: 
18 April 2013
The work of the Dying Matters Coalition is to be extended to Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s new End of Life Care Delivery Plan.

Dying Matters in Wales is being created to change public awareness about the importance of making a will and talking about and planning for the end of life.

Eve Richardson, pictured, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Dying Matters is being extended to Wales as part of the Welsh Government’s End of Life Care Delivery Plan.

Picture of Eve Richardson"Since it was set up in England in 2009, Dying Matters has had a lot of interest from people in Wales, but we’ve not been able to make the most of this until now.

"All of us, wherever we live, benefit by talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement and by making our end of life wishes known, which is why it’s so great that Dying Matters in Wales is being created. There’s a lot of work to do in the coming months, but this promises to be an exciting time and we’ll be providing regular updates as work progresses.”

The expansion of Dying Matters to Wales will be announced today during the launch of plans to improve end of life care for people across the country.

"Together for Health, Delivering End of Life Care" aims to improve the way families and professionals work together to plan for the end of life. It also sets out to ensure people are well supported whether they choose to die at home or in hospital. 

The plan lays out the Welsh Government’s expectations for NHS Wales and its partners to make end of life care consistently good across the country. 

Specific aims include better training for health professionals to develop the skills needed to support people to die in their place of choice; and communications training to boost health professionals' competence in end of life conversations with patients and their families.

People with terminal illnesses and their loved ones will also be asked to rate the care they receive. 

The plan builds on the achievements of the Palliative Care Implementation Board, which include ensuring every Health Board can access specialist palliative care around the clock; delivering education programmes for GPs and nursing home staff; and ensuring care pathways put the views of the terminally ill person and their loved ones at the centre of care.  

Speaking ahead of the launch at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, Health Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford said: "Inequalities at the end of life are as unacceptable as inequalities in life. Good quality end of life care must be available where ever and when ever an individual dies, taking into account their wishes. 

“The plan published today sets out how we will achieve consistent end of life care across Wales, reducing the stress of terminal illness for the patient and their family, so they feel well cared for and supported.”

Professor of palliative medicine, Baroness Ilora Finlay, said: “Wales can provide the best care for those who are dying.  Disease does not respect the clock or the calendar, which is why Welsh Government has already funded seven-day specialist palliative care nursing and has ensured that consultant advice is available across Wales for any professional providing care to seek advice at any time if things are difficult.  Now the next stage is to ensure that we are all prepared for our own dying and that the profile of best care is dominant." 

More 

www.wales.nhs.uk - external link

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