Over the past few weeks we – our partners and us – have been doing lots of listening as we meet with local people and care professionals to share our plans for the Flagship, and to seek views from those who are helping to deliver the pilot, from those who have used the pilot services and from those who have yet to use the service.

Discussing potential new names for the Flagship

On Friday 18th October, as many of you know, we hosted a listening event at Toynbee Hall for local people.  It went really well.  Here are just a few of the things that we heard on Friday, which re-enforce for me why the project is so important;

“My family are always saying why do I have to be so morbid. It is family members that always brush it under the table and who don’t want to talk about it”.

“If you are able to talk about it while you’re still well you should, rather than while you’re dealing with an illness”

Listening Event at Toynbee Hall
Around 20 minutes before the start of the event – chatting and checking phones!

“If it’s in stone [writing] relatives would prefer it as they know they are 100% respecting their loved ones wishes”

“This has been around since 2007 – that’s crazy. . . .  I guess we don’t because it’s a taboo subject”

On Friday we also got some really good ideas and advice about how the project should be delivered and promoted.  It makes such a difference hearing directly from older people about how a project that aims to support them and their peers should be delivered.  So we are going to be doing even more listening over the forthcoming weeks . . . . and if you would like to get involved please Email Us to find out how.

And we are not the only ones talking to the public this Autumn.  In late 2012 the Government asked Baroness Neuberger to carry out a review of the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).  Her report was published earlier this year and in it she called for organisations to work together to create and deliver the education, training and skills needed to ensure every dying patient received high quality care.

In July 2013 NHS England established a Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People to respond to the review.  The alliance involving the public and third sector is organising workshops across England this autumn to engage with the public and professionals to improve end of life care. The workshops are free and open to everyone.   Read this Sue Ryder Information Flyer to find out when a workshop is taking place near you.   You’re welcome to go along and have your say.  And if you attend the London one on 13th November, look out for Philip Satherley, our very own Policy and Research Manager who will also be there.