Event in Norfolk supports new report highlighting the importance of honest conversations about death for cancer patients
PUBLISHED: 10:40 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:40 16 May 2018
A new report from Macmillan Cancer Support revealed the perceived need to fight cancer often means people with a terminal diagnosis are not getting the right support to plan for end of life.
More than one in four (28pc) of people find it difficult to talk honestly about their feelings around cancer, and the same amount feel guilty if they cannot stay positive about their disease.
For many, this means vital conversations – particularly about end of life preferences and wishes for things such as where they would like to die – are not had until it is too late.
As a result, thousands of people with cancer are dying in hospital unnecessarily.
Macmillan wants to encourage and support health care professionals locally to facilitate more open and honest conversations about end of life.
In Norfolk, the charity worked in partnership with the Lord Lieutenant’s Palliative Care Forum to hold an information fair at The Forum in Norwich on May 15 as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2018.
Richard Jewson, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk said: “We want to build on the success of previous events to continue to encourage discussions so that loved ones, friends and neighbours can make their wishes known. People should not be afraid to talk about dying.”
Rukshana Kapasi, Macmillan strategic partnership manager added: “Death and dying may still be a distressing subject for many but our research shows that advance care planning - discussing end of life wishes - can significantly improve end of life experiences. Events like this one are so important in helping people overcome those barriers and access relevant information locally. We had a stall in the atrium where our cancer information and support specialists offered guidance and lent a listening ear.”
Macmillan Cancer Support is urging governments across the UK to honour their commitments to ensuring advance care planning is used as an important part of a person - centred health service, so that people approaching the end of their lives receive the best care possible and their wishes for death and dying are fulfilled.
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