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Palliative Care Week

The palliative care department at Royal North Shore Hospital recently celebrated National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) with a conversation starter initiative.

NPCW aims to increase understanding about the many benefits of palliative care and how it can help not only those dying, but anyone with a life-limiting illness.

To mark the occasion, the palliative care department at RNSH set up buckets in some of the inpatient wards that had an individually wrapped tea bag and a conversation starter card to encourage people to talk to their families and friends about what matters most to them at end-of-life.

RNSH Clinical Nurse Consultant Jacqueline Endicott said the idea for the initiative stemmed from some of the data the team had seen around people having conversations about their wishes.

We want people to start talking because 88 per cent of people report they know what their wishes are if they become unwell but only 50 per cent of people have actually told anyone about them
RNSH Clinical Nurse Consultant Jacqueline Endicott

“It’s only a small gesture, but we’re hoping that the teabags and conversation starter help provide people with a means to have those conversations.”
RNSH Clinical Nurse Consultant Caitlin Macdonagh said it’s important to have weeks like NPCW to recognise the importance of palliative care and to dispel any myths around it. 

“Palliative care has a stigma attached to it that it is only for people who are dying,” she said. 

“It is much more than that - it is about improving a person’s quality of life through patient-centred care.”

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