Dying Matters


Members of AMBU’s palliative care and chaplaincy staff have teamed up to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week which runs until Sunday.

They manned special information stalls at Morriston and Princess of Wales hospitals to promote the week and its theme this year, The Big Conversation – the importance of encouraging people to talk about bereavement.

Death touches us all at some point and Dying Matters is a coalition set up to promote public awareness of dying, death and bereavement. Thinking and talking about what you would want to happen at the end of your life makes the chances of it happening much higher and helps those you love and are left behind know they honoured your wishes.

Specialist palliative care consultant Beth Birch, who is helping to organise ABMU’s events, said: “Talking about death is really the last taboo. People worry that somehow by talking about it you’ll make it happen or that it is in some way disrespectful to someone’s life.

“We would like to encourage people, if they can, to feel able to have that conversation – to know that often it is something that people do want to be able to talk about openly. Once it’s in the open then often you can start to talk about what and who is really important to you and concentrate on living every moment.”

Knowing – whether you are a health care professional or a friend, carer or family member – that it is OK to talk about dying and how you might be part of that conversation is hugely important, added Beth.

“It is part of a much bigger picture about caring for those at the end of their lives and how we as a society try to take steps to make sure everyone has a ‘good death’ because we all deserve that.”

Dr Elizabeth Birch, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, together with Jason Tugwell, Hospital Chaplain, manned the stall in the main foyer at Morriston Hospital on Tuesday 10th May 2016, offering guidance and advice to staff, patients and the public.

Dr Elizabeth Birch explained “The photos are of the ‘bucket board’ we had, and the aim was to try and get people to start talking about what is important to them in their life and what they want to accomplish before they die with friends to help start the conversation about end of life.” One of the many visitors welcomed was former Welsh International Rugby Player Ian Gough.

Ty Olwen Trustees were delighted to be associated with the events and also wish to thank

LBS Builders Merchants who gave the materials for free for making the ‘bucket board’.


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