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When Someone You Care About is Dying in Hospital: What to Expect booklet launched

The new information booklet, When someone you care about is dying in hospital – What to expect was officially launched today in Dublin (Thursday 20 September, 2018).
It was revealed alongside the launch of the Ombudsman’s report, A Good Death: Progress Report, into the developments in end-of-life care in Irish hospitals.
The new booklet is the direct result of one of the key findings of the 2014 ‘A Good Death’ report citing poor communication as a feature of each complaint received about end-of-life care.
A joint Irish Hospice Foundation/HSE initiative, the booklet is a new communication resource to support patients and families at such an emotional and challenging time. It offers practical advice on things like coping with changes in the person who is dying, talking about feelings, what to do if someone dies while you are with them, looking after yourself etc.
The booklet is the work of the joint HSE/Hospice Friendly Hospitals Oversight Committee. Formed in 2017, one of their key priorities is to reduce the variations in end-of-life care received across Ireland.
43% of people die in hospitals every year. The Hospice Friendly Hospitals Programme seeks to ensure that end-of-life, palliative and bereavement care are central to the everyday business of hospitals across Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Professor Cillian Twomey, Chair of the HSE/HFH Oversight Committee said: “This is the Oversight Committee’s first step to improve public information and reduce variations in end-of-life care across Ireland. It was developed through consultation to provide clear and general information to patients and their families.  As the Ombudsman’s Good Death report continues to highlight poor communication as feature in complaints received, we hope this booklet will play a role in reducing the gap between the message professionals intended to give and what is understood.”
Speaking at today’s event Liam Woods, HSE National Director Acute Operations said: “End-of-life care is a very important area for the HSE. Over 11,000 people die in hospital each year and our services and our staff are part of the experience of so many families at this difficult and emotional time. I am very encouraged that the Ombudsman’s second report has shown clear signs of improvement across our hospitals.
“This new information leaflet When someone you care about is dying in hospital is intended to provide practical information to families during a challenging and emotional time, and to complement the approach of our staff as they support and assist families. The HSE continues to work very closely with a range of partner organisations to improve how we deal with end of life issues and in particular I would like the acknowledge the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation in this area. The Hospice Friendly Hospice Programme, running for over 10 years now with 45 public and private hospitals participating has been a long term support for the HSE. The expertise and support this Programme provides has been invaluable to us and allows us to bring staff together to learn from each other. I am particularly grateful to the group for the work undertaken to produce this new booklet”.
You can download ‘When someone you care about is dying in hospital – What to expect’ here
To read A Good Death: A Progress Report, click here.