In support of Dying Matters Awareness Week which runs from 2-6 May 2022, Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership is encouraging communities to come together to talk about death, dying and grief.

“We know that starting conversations about dying isn’t easy. But we also know that it’s often not as hard as you might think. Every year, people around the country use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage others to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them,” said Abigail Groves, Palliative and End of Life Care Programme Manager at Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership.

Surrey Heartlands has also adopted the What Matters Most Charter, to help support better conversations between people and their loved ones – and health and care professionals – about the importance of taking about death, dying and planning ahead.

The What Matters Most Charter aims to change the nature of care planning and encourage people to have open discussions to guide their care at the end of life.  The aim is to make sure that care is better focused around supporting people to live well for as long as possible.

“By being clear about the things that matter most, we give ourselves a better chance of ensuring that our wishes are fulfilled and grieving loved ones aren’t left feeling unsure about what the person would have wanted. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to start these conversations. It’s about an ongoing conversation with loved ones and health and social care professionals becoming a natural part of life,” added Abigail.

“Whoever starts the conversation, and however they do it, they never find it as challenging as they feared, and they always feel better for having done it.”

There are many events being held across Surrey Heartlands during Dying Matters Awareness Week to encourage people to talk about and plan for the end of life. One of these is the End of Life Matters Marketplace on Thursday 5th May, from 2-7pm, at The Holiday Inn, Guildford.