Health and care leaders across Somerset are encouraging people to have important conversations about death and loss during the coronavirus pandemic. Senior doctors and nurses are pledging their support to those who want to start these difficult conversations and talk through their concerns.
Dr Alex Murray, Clinical Director at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP said:
“Most people find it difficult to talk about death and dying at the best of times. Now, more than ever it is really important that people feel supported to have these discussions.
“We acknowledge that the coronavirus pandemic means that some people may die sooner and it may mean that family can’t visit their loved ones to say goodbye. Having a plan in place for the end of life can make it easier for those who are dying and their families during a difficult time.
“We would like to reassure people that whenever we are involved in these sensitive discussions they happen on an individual basis and involve their family where necessary. Every conversation is personal with the patient and their clinicians to ensure we jointly make the best possible decisions around end of life care in Somerset.
“We have to support each other to cope with death and grief, which means we’ve got to talk about it, even if it’s difficult. We hope that the support from the Somerset health and care system can help people have conversations and make decisions about how they want to be cared for at the end of their life”
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, national charity Dying Matters have launched the #BeforeTheirTime campaign and have a series of resources to encourage conversations about death, dying and bereavement, which can be found online: www.dyingmatters.org/page/their-time