31st Norfolk Palliative Care Conference 2016

qunice tree 2016

The Quince tree is in full blossom today. It will only last three days, less if the wind gets up……

Yesterday as part of Dying matters week, I was lucky enough to attend the 31st Norfolk Palliative care conference, at the Bob Champion Research Centre Norwich.

Over 200 people attended (the majority women) from all different areas of the palliative care network. I went to get a view on how Palliative care is managed from a medical point of view, and was greatly encouraged to see from the speakers invited,that the conference encompassed a broad view when it comes to the care of the dying. I  have picked put a few to mention…

The first lecture By Dr.Simon Rushbrook- Consultant Gastroenterologist,NNUH, was a sobering eye opener. He spoke extensively about liver disease, which shockingly is 40% higher and on the rise in the UK more than anywhere else on the globe. Even more shockingly it’s causing more premature death in women at the age of 40. This sat is not about binge drinking… its about the bottle of wine a night. Take good care of your liver girls.

it wasn’t all difficult news…. Dr Kathryn Mannix, Consultant in Palliative care Medicine, freeman hospital , Newcastle Upon Tyne is using CBT in Palliative care context to help modify unhelpful thinking in those who are struggling with diagnosis. She is training up CBT first Aiders. For more info go to :http://spcare.bmj.com/content/2/Suppl_1/A113.3

We heard from Dr Phillip Wilkins, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, NNUH who explained the NICE Guidance for end of life care. Although the guidance was not greatly specific one the key directions it gave was communication. It is of utmost importance that the families of the dying and the dying themselves know what decisions are being made about them, and that they are included in them. He left us with the words of Cicley Saunders :

you matter because you are you

you matter to the last moments of your life

and we will do all that we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.

The last to speak was Stella green, Chaplain NNUH. She spoke about how to spot someone who might be in spiritual need, and how to attend to those needs. She mentioned Elizabeth Kulber-Ross five stages of dying  denial,anger,bargaining,depress and finally reaching acceptance. she left us with a reassuring quote from Julia Neuberger 1999, dying well; a guide to enabling a good death.

‘No mysteries, no horror,no agony. Instead a peaceful end, as we want it, in as conscious a partnership as possible with those who have been our life’s companions and friends, supported with professional care by people with great skill in pain relief and emotional support.

The chaplaincy at the NNUH is a 24hr service. If you wish to know more please contact

Stella Green on 01603 287470 or email : stella.gree@nnnuh.nus.uk


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s