Marie Curie features in Call the Midwife season finale

Tonight’s Call the Midwife sensitively tackled the subject of end of life care in a moving storyline concerning Miranda Hart’s much loved character Chummy and her mother Lady Browne. 

The series three finale finished with the revelation that Nurse Jenny Lee, inspired by caring for Chummy’s mother in her final hours, is leaving Nonnatus House to become a Marie Curie Nurse. Writer and Executive Producer Heidi Thomas said the subject was one very close to her heart. "I first witnessed the miraculous power of a good death when someone very close to me passed away in a Marie Curie Hospice," she said. "Bereavement will always hurt, but letting a loved one go with tenderness and care can be immensely healing for all involved. The end of life is as important as its beginning, which is why we decided to tackle this supremely emotional topic in Call The Midwife. " 

Providing care at the start and end of life

Like Nurse Jenny Lee, Marie Curie Nurse Ann Brady began her career at the start of life’s journey. "I grew up in the 1950s, the same era as Call the Midwife. When I was around nine years old, I had my first experience of home nursing. I would regularly visit a sick family friend with my father who was helping to care for him at home. His daughter-in-law was the main carer but I still remember the rota of neighbours, friends and family members that would take it in turns to look after him. "This was a big part of my upbringing in Ireland; death isn’t a taboo subject there, it's part of the culture. As youngsters we were never shielded from the sick and the dying. We’d visit poorly neighbours to pay our respects and it was a great privilege to look after someone. This has stayed with me throughout my nursing career and helped shape the nurse I am today. "Despite this, palliative care hasn’t always been at the forefront of my work. When I finished my general nurse training, I studied midwifery. So my career has moved right from the start to the finish of life’s journey." Like all Marie Curie Nurses, Ann is committed to good end of life care. However, terminally ill people are not getting access to the right care when they need it, according to a new survey commissioned by Marie Curie with Doctors.net.uk. Read more about the survey results and Marie Curie's response

What Marie Curie Nurses do

Marie Curie Nurses like Ann provide terminally ill people and their families with free hands-on care and emotional support, in their own homes, right until the end. Visit our website to read more about what our nurses do and to find out how to get a Marie Curie Nurse

If you've been inspired by Call the Midwife and issues around good end of life care, or if you'd like to share your story, please add your thoughts in the comments below.