“Palliative Care: It’s more than you think.”

“Four in five people with a serious illness would like their doctor or healthcare professional to speak with them about palliative care.”

“Palliative Care: It’s more than you think.”

Western Health and Social Care Trust fully support Palliative Care Week 2021 

As Palliative Care Week gets underway, which is to be held from 12-18 September, Western Health and Social Care Trust fully support the annual event. 

The event is held across the island and the theme of this year’s events is: “Palliative Care: It’s more than you think.” 

This is the 8th year of the annual event and is facilitated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care. 

AIIHPC'S recent findings highlight the necessity of this event. 

Western Health and Social Care Trust wrote: “A central element of this year’s message centres on the results of a recent survey carried out by AIIHPC, which revealed that one in three people would think that they only had days to live if their doctor or healthcare professional talked to them about palliative care. 

“These findings have underlined why a broadening of understanding of palliative care is required in society. 

“As Palliative Care Week 2021 gets underway, it is clear that misunderstandings persist about palliative care, which is why this year’s theme is particularly important. 

“The survey results, conducted across Northern Ireland this summer on behalf of the AIIHPC, also shows that more than one in four people would think that their doctor is giving up on them if their doctor or healthcare professional talked to them about palliative care. 

“And yet, most importantly, four in five people with a serious illness would like their doctor or healthcare professional to speak with them about palliative care. 

“Misunderstanding about palliative care persists, meaning some people who could benefit are less willing to seek it, potentially missing out on improved quality of life.” 

The aim of Palliative Care Week is to raise awareness of palliative care and the difference it can make to people with life-limiting conditions as well as carers and families. 

John McGarvey, Assistant Director for Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation, Western Trust said: “This year’s theme will raise awareness of the wide range of supports which can be mobilised by health and social care professionals, to help people with palliative care needs and their loved ones to live as well as possible. 

“People with palliative care needs are being supported by the whole community beyond formal health and social care services. A personalised network of support can involve a broad range of professionals from primary care (such as GP’s and District Nurses), family and friends and the wider community, supporting a person whether they are at home, in hospital, in a nursing home or hospice. 

“We want people to have a better understanding of palliative care, so if the need arises for themselves or someone close to them, they will feel able to discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals.  

“We would encourage the members of our community to speak with their GP or any other healthcare professional if you think palliative care could help you or someone you love.” 

The event held this week will include a series of online information sessions and webinars, aimed at professionals, carers and indeed palliative care patients covering a wide range of topics. 

Emma King, Macmillian Specialist Palliative Care Team Manager with the Western Trust, said: “So often, people think that palliative care is only available at end of life, but it can benefit people at all stages of illness, and people of all ages. 

“It can be provided for years, with some people having long periods of being well, moving in and out of palliative care services, depending on their needs at that particular point in time. 

“For us, Palliative Care Week is about showing people that palliative care is about more than just end of life care, and indeed more than just treating physical symptoms. It’s about caring for the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the person and those important to them, hopefully making things that little bit easier.” 

For more information on Palliative Care Week 2021 and a full list of events, visit: 

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