Dougie Mac joined forces with UHNM Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team to present the second annual End of Life Care Conference yesterday at the Best Western Moat House.
The conference brought together healthcare professionals from across the country with the aim of increasing knowledge and understanding of advance care planning, current themes in palliative & end of life care, research & innovations.
The End of Life Care Conference kicked off this year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week, hosted by national movement Dying Matters and its 32,000 coalition members, which provides an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda.
Claire Henry, MBE, Director of Improvement and Transformation, Hospice UK spoke at the conference and launched Dying Matters 2018, which sees organisation across the country host their own events to positively change attitudes and behaviour around talking about and planning for death.
Dougie Mac’s Palliative Care Consultant, Dr Claire Hookey delivered a workshop titled ‘Overcoming Challenges in Providing Good End of Life Care’ as part of the End of Life Care Conference. Dr Claire Hookey has been the Medical Director of Dougie Mac for the past 13 years and is passionate about supporting others to deliver high quality end of life care. Claire is the palliative care lead at Keele Medical School and an educational supervisor for speciality trainees in palliative medicine. She has a particular interest in end of life care for patients with non-cancer diagnoses and has worked closely with the heart failure team locally to develop services.
Dr Claire Hookey was among a number of esteemed speakers on the conference’s programme, from those with clinical expertise from medical backgrounds to people with lived experiences like Lesley Goodburn, who articulated the journey from the first signs of her husband Seth’s illness, through diagnosis, care and treatment and after his death at hospital, and Chris Pointon, who recalls his wife Kate Granger’s core values behind her #hellomynameis campaign.
A number of fascinating workshops also took place, spanning subjects including dignity and spirtuality in end of life care, nutrition and hydration and communication skills. It was an informative and inspirational day for attendees.
Dougie Mac has also established a programme of events for Dying Matters Awareness Week to help people to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement. The local community is invited to join Dougie Mac’s Dying Matters Café which takes place in the hospice’s main reception on Wednesday 16th May from 9.30am – 12.30pm.
The café will create a friendly space open to anyone to ask questions about end of life care issues, such as; making a Will, planning a funeral or coping with bereavement. Alongside activities to highlight the importance of having conversations about dying, death and bereavement with loved ones, free coffee and tea will be provided as well as refreshments.
Please call Dougie Mac’s Head of Living Well Services, Kevin Chesters, on 01782 344300 for more information.