Are you interested in a public health approach to end of life care?

Marie Curie in Northern Ireland invites you to join us on 3 December for a policy hack on public health approaches to end of life care. The aim of the event is to bring people together to share their ideas and to identify wider solutions to improve wellbeing in the face of terminal illness.

Why we are doing this

Support for people living with a terminal illness has traditionally focused on primary and secondary clinical care. When we think of care for people with a terminal illness, we usually think of acute or hospice care, or nursing care in the home.

But we’re also seeing a growing acceptance that caring for people with a terminal illness is wider than just the traditional notion of clinical care. In Northern Ireland we have an ageing population and the number of people living alone here is expected to rise. So in order to meet the needs of these people, shouldn’t we start addressing how we can better support people with a terminal illness within a community setting?

The benefits of a public health approach

A public health approach to end of life care expands the definition to include support in the wider community and, according to research, could enable us to better adapt to our demographic and healthcare challenges: our rapidly ageing population living with more complex conditions, while addressing the limits of clinical services in meeting these challenges.

A public health approach to end of life care also seeks to include the community as genuine partners, rather than targets of service provision. It aims for greater community involvement in the wellbeing and care for people with a terminal illness. In doing so, this helps change social attitudes and cultures around death and dying.

A public health approach could also meet the social needs of those living with terminal, long-term and life-threatening conditions, such as isolation and loneliness. It can additionally meet the needs of those living with loss, with acknowledgement to social, cultural and spiritual diversity.

Have your say

There is growing support for a public health approach to end of life care in the UK and Ireland and we in Marie Curie are keen that this is embedded and extended across Northern Ireland.

That is why we’re getting people together for a policy hack on 3 December. This event, at Belfast’s Stormont Hotel, will showcase successful models from the UK and Ireland to help stimulate conversation, ideas and thinking about how we can improve wellbeing for people with a terminal illness in Northern Ireland.

If you have an interest in improving wellbeing for people with a terminal illness and would like to attend this event, please contact philip.mynes@mariecurie.org.uk as soon as possible to reserve a place.