18 May 2022

Public urged to sign palliative care petition

A local councillor says access to support has been affected by the pandemic.

Public urged to sign palliative care petition

A local councillor has urged the public to petition the NI Assembly after a recently published programme for government failed to mention death, bereavement or end-of-life care.

The online petition has been launched by Marie Curie, who said there is a 'growing need' for greater palliative care in Nothern Ireland.

“Even before Covid-19, the number of people living and dying with diseases like cancer and dementia was on the rise,” they said.

“Twice as many people are receiving palliative care now than ten years ago, but this falls far short of the growing need from people who die here every year.

“If these issues are ignored by policymakers, more people may miss out on the care they need at the end of life.”

Causeway Coast and Glens councillor for Bann, Helena Dallat-O'Driscoll, said the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the grief for families who have lost loved ones.

“The pandemic has given rise to particularly difficult conditions in which to leave this world or to lose someone dear and the effects are likely to stay with those left behind for some time,” she said.

“As I am painfully aware, most have been unable to give their loved one the send-off that our society is used to giving.

“Many, especially in our rural communities, have not had the same access to support as visits from family, friends and neighbours have been extremely limited.

“We need a new funding system based on need. We also need to have more open conversations about death and bereavement and how best we can support the dying and their families.

“I support Marie Curie’s call for a much greater focus on death, dying and bereavement in the Executive’s Programme for Government and encourage people to add their name to the petition.”

The petition is available to sign on the Marie Curie website.

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