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Join the Big Conversation during Dying Matters Awareness Week

Published 06/05/2016

Derby’s Gogglebox family and the Bishop of Derby are among local faces urging people to have their say on issues around death and dying.

The Siddiqui family and the Right Reverend Doctor Alastair Redfern have recorded video messages as part of a project for Dying Matters Awareness Week, which will see similar messages collected from people all over the city.

It is part of a campaign run by Derby Teaching Hospitals, NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG and the University of Derby to create a lasting online video of people giving their views on why it is important to talk about dying.

Umar Siddiqui said: “Having the Big Conversation with a family member about their passing away is one of the hardest conversations you can have, but it is one of the most important. It unburdens everyone involved from stress and anxiety and reinforces the love, care and respect we have for one another. The passing away of someone near and dear to us is never an easy time, but it can be made less difficult if we talk openly and sensibly about it in advance.”

Video booths will be set up at the Royal Derby Hospital, at Quad in the city centre and at the university. Filming will take place at the Royal Derby Hospital from 1.30-4pm on Monday and 11-3 on Tuesday, at the University of Derby from 10-2 on Tuesday, and throughout the day at Quad on Thursday.

Dr Ruth England, Palliative Care Consultant at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “You only die once, and knowing what someone wants at the end of their life gives their loved ones and professionals a chance to deliver better care at this precious time. But so often in society, this subject is taboo. We want Derby to shed the stigma and come to talk about death and dying in our video. This will be by the people of Derbyshire, for the people of Derbyshire.”

Dying Matters Awareness Week takes place each year, with the aim of helping to remove the stigma which many people attach to talking about dying. It is the first time a project such as this has taken place in Derby during the awareness week, and organisers are keen to get as many people involved as possible,

Sharan Watson, Post-graduate Lecturer for Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “Regardless of age it is so important to be able to engage in open, honest and supportive conversations, as this can make a real difference for individuals, families, carers and the wider community”.

Experts will be on hand at each session to support anyone who needs to talk further on the issue and to provide information.

Philippa Shreeve, End of Life Senior Manager at NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Talking about funerals, organ donation, grieving and living wills might not be top of your conversational topics but these chats don’t need to be awkward, or difficult. By being open and unafraid to talk about these things with your nearest and dearest you can be confident that when your time comes people are clear about your wishes and unnecessary pressure is taken off everyone involved. That way professionals and families can focus on providing you with the right care and treating you in the way you want as you end your days.”

People will also be able to share their views over social media, by posting videos on the Derby Teaching Hospitals Facebook page, or posting videos on Twitter with the hashtag #DerbysBigConvo.

Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from Monday, 9 May, until Sunday, 15 May.


Last Modified 06/05/2016