Guest blog by Paul Madden, Care Director at Kent and Sussex-based Hospice in the Weald

Guest blog by Paul Madden, Care Director at Kent and Sussex-based Hospice in the Weald
OPENING DAY: The Cottage Hospice, Five Ashes

“When you or a loved one are nearing the end of your life, you quickly realise exactly what is important – you want to be comfortable in the knowledge that you will receive the best possible care, medication and pain relief. You want to know that someone will be there for your loved ones, too.

“Alongside this, there are considerations about financial matters, funeral plans and final resting places so that your wishes can be met. But it is our experience as a hospice that these things come second to those fundamentals of safety and having loved ones close at hand.

“None of us know how our lives will end, but we do all know that they will inevitably end one day. It therefore seems odd that there is such a stigma attached to talking about how you want to die, or being bold enough to put plans in place before it is too late. 

“At Hospice in the Weald, we place huge emphasis on ensuring ‘dignity in death’ for all of our patients – discussing choices and support available to help them feel in a good place mentally, physically and financially towards the end. So it has hugely saddened us to hear of many patients dying alone across the UK during the pandemic, being unable to access the support they deserve and without their families around them.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our team at Hospice in the Weald worked tirelessly to ensure this wasn’t the case for our Kent and Sussex community. I am very proud to say that we were able to remain open and provided care and support for over 1,700 patients, alongside all of those dear to them. Our Covid-secure rooms meant we were able to continue having conversations about choice with our patients and that we could welcome visitors and ease the pressure on the local NHS. 

“So, to mark Dying Matters Awareness week, I really wanted to celebrate our own fantastic nurses, doctors and hospice team, alongside all those carers around the world who were able to make a difference to end-of-life care throughout this unprecedented year. 

“As death has sadly become front of mind for many, hopefully we have learned that we should and can discuss how we want to die. Our wishes should not go unrecognised and we should not die alone.”


Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter