Why it’s important to talk about end of life care

Dying matters week encourages people to speak more openly about dying and end of life care. Services need to hear about people's experiences if they hope to improve for the future. Here's what one man told us about his brother's experience.
Nurse holding a stethoscope on a man's back in his home
Health and social services should openly talk about end of life care and the wishes of patients.
— Steve talking to Healthwatch Somerset

End of life care aims to support someone in the later stages their life to live as well as possible until they die. It also ensures that the family and carers are supported during this time, and after the person dies.

Dying Matters awareness week aims to encourage people to share their experiences about end of life care, and talk about dying more openly.

A positive experience

Steve spoke to Healthwatch Somerset about his brother Geoff's experience of end of life care in the hope that it encourages others to provide feedback.  

“In his final days, Geoff requested to die at home. This was arranged, and a bed and the other things were delivered and set up for him. A few days later he died as he wished at home with his children around him.

Geoff hated hospitals and didn’t want to die in one, he wanted to die at home with his two children with him as he passed away."

Pulling out all the stops

Geoff's hospital did everything that they could to comply with his wishes. 

“On the following Monday a hospital bed and all the things that went with it was delivered to his home and at 6pm that night Geoff was in the bed in his own home with his children gathered around him."

Why should people speak up about end of life care?

Services can only improve if people feedback about what has worked well and what hasn't. 

Emily Taylor, Healthwatch Somerset Manager, said

“We appreciate end of life care can be a hard subject to talk about, which is why any insight patients and relatives can give will help make services better for others in the future.

People like Steve’s brother Geoff often receive excellent end of life care. Healthwatch Somerset is here to listen to the views of local people on health and social care services whether that’s good or not so good, so we can present these views to the decision-making organisations in the county which have the power to make change happen.”

Share your views on local health and social care services

Do services know about your experiences of end of life care? Talk to your local Healthwatch and help make support better for people in the future. 

Talk to your local Healthwatch