Dying Matters

Local people facing end of life or bereavement can now turn to online support. This is thanks to a new website launched to coincide with Dying Matters Week (10-16 May 2021).

The website aims to support people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) through every stage of dying, death and bereavement by providing comprehensive information. It includes details of the many health and care support services available across both counties.

Dr Reema Parwaiz, GP and clinical lead for end of life with the LLR Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

Talking about dying and death is something people understandably feel uncomfortable about. But it is something we all need to do at some point because it affects every one of us.

Rutland beginnings

The initiative was first piloted in Rutland at the end of 2020. It is led by Dr Sarah Furness, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland. With support from the LLR Clinical Commissioning Groups, it has been expanded to support communities in Leicester City and Leicestershire as well as in Rutland.

The website addresses many difficult questions. What to expect during the last days and how to prepare and support loved ones, including children, through loss.

Help in a time of need

Liz Jones, patient representative with Dying Matters, said:

This website is really useful for everyone. But especially for those people who may be either in the last few weeks or days of life. And also for loved ones who may be caring for them.”

Claire Henry is the Palliative Care Clinician and Director of Dying Matters in Rutland. She said:

“I believe that no one should ever have to grieve alone or become isolated through grief. This is why great emphasis is placed on helping those who are left behind.

The website explains the practicalities and legalities of reporting a death and organising a funeral. It also lists a wide range of bereavement support organisations, including drop-in centres and organisations that provide religious and spiritual support.

For people coming to the end of their life, there is advice for people to start those difficult discussions with loved ones.”

“The website highlights the importance of end-of-life planning, by putting key documents in place such as an Advance Care Plan and ReSpect form. This will ensure each person is able to have the best end of life possible.