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Education session

Dying Matters Week Focuses on Conversation

6th-12th May is Dying Matters Awareness Week, which this year follows the theme of ‘the way we talk about dying matters’. It draws attention to the language that we use around death and dying, and focuses specifically on the conversations that healthcare professionals have with patients and their loved ones.

Local Hospice Care charity Phyllis Tuckwell provides supportive and end of life care for patients, families and carers who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer. Its Education team offers a wide range of sessions and courses to both Phyllis Tuckwell staff and other healthcare providers in the local area, some of which centre on communicating with patients and their loved ones. 

“We offer a wide variety of training to both our own internal colleagues and to our local health and social partners, and communication is integral to all of the courses that we provide,” said Sara Cowell, clinical trainer at Phyllis Tuckwell. “Our communication-specific courses include foundation and intermediate communication skills sessions, as well as sessions which focus on certain discussion areas which both healthcare professionals and patients, families and carers may find difficult. These include understanding and managing bereavement, loss and grief; supporting people in psychological distress; recognising dementia and understanding how to communicate with those who are living with this condition; and communication when supporting children and young people with loss and change.”

“I acquired knowledge on how to be an active listener, how to deal with difficult conversations and how/what to deliver to families and colleagues,” said one attendee, while another reflected: “I will choose my words carefully and be clear. I will use silence as a skill. I will listen more actively to what patients want.”

To find out more about the care that Phyllis Tuckwell provides, visit, and to read more about Dying Matters Awareness Week please visit

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