7 May 2020, 4:27 p.m.

This week is Dying Matters awareness week. The theme for this year’s Dying Matters week is 'Dying to be Heard', which aims to encourage people to listen to their loved ones if they want to talk about death.

The health and care system in Gloucestershire recognises that it’s hard for people to talk about death and the practical aspects of preparing for it. So when someone wants to talk about death, it’s really important that we become the other half of that conversation. If they want to talk, we need to listen.

While we can't take away the distress of not being with loved ones at the end of their lives, the NHS in Gloucestershire is committed to making sure that nobody who loses their life as a result of coronavirus is seen as just a number or forgotten.

We are doing this through the every name is a person campaign. The campaign, inspired by Dr Emma Husbands consultant in palliative medicine at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and her colleagues working together in the One Gloucestershire End of Life Collaborative, pledges to never forget that: 

Every name is a person. 

Every person a life lived. 

Every life a story behind it.

Sam White, lead nurse in specialist palliative and end of life care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“In these troubling times, I would want to use Dying Matters week to highlight and pay tribute to the staff across Gloucestershire who recognise how important care of the dying is.

"Staff from across the board have stepped up in an unbelievable fashion to ensure loved ones in our care are treated as if they are own. I thank them for this important role that they are providing.”

Our Chaplain, the Reverend Katie McClure has developed a podcast from her perspective of how our front line team's careful attention to the needs of our dying patients had allowed her to have some significant moments with people, and how she believes this has in turn meant a lot to the families of those patients.

Find out more information about Dying Matters awareness week.

Bereavement resources are accessible from the One Gloucestershire website.

You can also access information about the spiritual and cultural needs of our diverse community from the Gloucestershire Health and Care website.

Beyond Words have developed a series of accessible books available, including when someone dies from coronavirus.

Mencap also provide dealing with loss with resources available for families and carers and easy read guides. They also run a free grief chat service for over 18s from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, or by out of hours email on info@griefchat.co.uk