End of life care

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cambspboro organised a one-day event in St Ives in the centre of Cambridgeshire on 27 March 2019 to discuss what people wanted from end of life care. More than 130 people attended the event.

Key findings

Why people don’t talk about death

  •  People felt that it is difficult or “taboo” to talk about death
  • When raising it with family members, people said they were told it was too soon to talk about death
  • Some people had spoken with older relatives, but not with their children
  • People find the legal processes to set up arrangements and wishes are confusing and the language used is also complicated
  • Some people mentioned that the costs associated with these processes are difficult to meet.

What people have planned

  • 50% of people said that they had written a will
  • Very few people had set up Lasting Powers of Attorney or Living Wills
  • Nobody had set up Do Not Attempt Resuscitation or Advance Decisions
  • Some people had told their families that they wish to be organ donors
  • Some people had purchased funeral plans.

What would make it easier to talk about death

  • Practical, easy to understand information and some ideas of what topics need to be discussed and how to go about it
  • Simple explanations of the various legal processes and associated costs
  • It was suggested that information could be provided as part of people’s GP Health Checks between the ages of 40 and 74.

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General details

Report title 
End of life care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Healthwatch Peterborough
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 5 February, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
End of life care
Social care services 
Hospice services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.