Palliative and bereavement charities urge party leaders to do more to support people affected by death, dying and grief

08 May 2024

This week (6th-12th May) is Dying Matters Awareness Week, a time to encourage everyone to talk about death, dying and grief.

Unfortunately, there are still taboos around these topics - we should all be talking openly to our friends, families and communities, so people at the end-of-life or experiencing bereavement can be supported. We know the power of community and open conversations have when it comes to dealing with these difficult subjects. Read more about Kate, who found that talking to others who had been bereaved helped her to cope.

As part of Dying Matters Week, CEOs from Sue Ryder, Hospice UK, Marie Curie, the National Bereavement Alliance and Together for Short Lives have written to party leaders. We are urging them to include commitments to improve care and support at the end-of-life and through bereavement, in their general election manifestos.

The letter highlights the key calls from our joint manifesto for palliative and end-of-life care, which sets out what we believe needs to change to make sure everyone affected by dying, death and bereavement receives the care and support they need and deserve.

Heidi Travis, Chief Executive of Sue Ryder, says:

“It is clear no more time can be wasted; the government and healthcare system must act now.

“Our research shows that the demand for specialist palliative care services is expected to rise by 55% over the next decade. The constant uncertainty of funding will continue to be a threat to service provision until a sustainable solution is reached.

“Everyone should have a good death, and access to palliative and end-of-life care is integral to this. The inconsistent provision across the UK continues to make this time more difficult for people at the end-of-life, when their focus should be spending time with people they love and making memories.”

As a sector we continue to raise these issues beyond Dying Matters Awareness Week. That's why on Monday 20th May we are inviting MPs and members of the House of Lords to a reception in Parliament to discuss the issues around dying, death and bereavement in the heart of Westminster.  This event will give parliamentarians the opportunity to meet people with lived experience and frontline staff from palliative and end-of-life care services from across the UK, to hear directly from them why these issues are so important.

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