Dying Matters: a conversation on palliative and end-of-life care

During Dying Matters Week, we're encouraging Richmond borough residents to start talking.


During Dying Matters Week, we're encouraging Richmond borough residents to start talking.

This year’s theme focuses on the conversations we have around death and dying.

Registered Manager Jacqui McPherson says, “Talking about dying at home shouldn’t be taboo. Our training breaks barriers, instilling confidence so our colleagues can have professional conversations about compassionate end-of-life care. Empowering those we care for in their most vulnerable moment is an honour. Ensuring their wishes around palliative and end-of-life care are observed to the letter is the most special service we provide.”

She continues, “In sixteen years of service, we have delivered end-of-life care to many people in our borough – from Barnes and Kew to Hampton. One customer, who I’ll call Mrs Jones to protect her anonymity, fractured her hip at home and refused all treatment. She had capacity and her wishes were observed with the understanding that she would require palliative support to spend her last days at home with her husband and family.”

“We were informed that her decision would eventually lead to her death. Mrs Jones’s live-in carer adjusted her support, working confidently alongside the District Nurses to manage her pain, provide emotional support, and preserve her independence and dignity. As her husband Mr Jones has significant short-term memory loss, this meant Mrs Jones’s carer answered his questions around when his wife would ‘be well enough to come back upstairs to bed’ several times each day. Every member of Mrs Jones’s care team was strongly supported with daily contact from our senior colleagues.”

“Mrs Jones died several days after being discharged from the hospital with her husband and family by her side. Her live-in carer has been a strength of support, continuing to reside with Mr Jones, supporting him with the adjustment to life without his beloved wife.”

“Her daughter said, ‘Thank you all so much for the wonderful care you gave to Mum. You went the extra mile to ensure her life was happy and supported right to the end.’”

Jacqui notes, “Let’s talk about end-of-life care. Let’s talk about dying. Death is the final journey we all take. We embrace the special moment and are thankful to be chosen to deliver this support. Respecting your choices, independence and dignity during that journey is what our Bluebirds are here to do.”

Let’s talk about dying. Click here to watch the video from Hospice UK.