Talking about dying won’t make it happen…That’s a strapline for this year’s Dying Matters Week, which runs from 9th – 15th May, and local people are encouraged to have ‘the Big Conversation’.

This dedicated week aims to raise public awareness about the importance of talking more openly about dying, death and bereavement and of planning ahead.

Someone in the UK dies every minute, but many of us still feel uncomfortable talking about dying. Talking more openly about dying can help you to make the most of life and to support loved ones. Many of us have strong views about our care and what happens after we die, but if we don’t talk about our wishes these are unlikely to be met. Currently 70% of people would prefer to die at home but 50% die in hospital and we want to encourage people to talk about this with their loved ones, so that they receive the care and support that they prefer for themselves.

NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Springhill Hospice are working together at a number of events during Dying Matter’s Week and will be located throughout Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and you can pop to any of the events for advice and information.

During the week events will be held to support Dying Matter’s Week on Monday 9th May at Rochdale Library, 9.30 – 12.30 and at Deeplish Community Centre, 1pm – 4.30pm, Tuesday 10th May at Heywood Library, 9.30 – 12.30, Wednesday 11th May at Demense Community Centre, 11am – 4pm and Thursday 12th May Tesco Middleton, 10am – 5pm.

Dr. Raj Khiroya is Clinical Lead for End of Life Care for HMR CCG said: “Talking about being poorly and dying is not easy, but not talking about it won’t make it go away. During Dying Matter’s Week we are encouraging people to seek advice and information and talk to family about those tough decisions that no-one wants to make, we all care dearly about our loved ones and want to make sure that they have the opportunity to talk about what they want at this difficult time.”

Top tips for talking to loved ones:  

  • You don’t have to be ill or dying to talk about it and to put plans in place.
  • You may find it easiest to start talking about what you wouldn’t want rather than what you do want.
  • You could talk about what your ‘something to remember me by' would be.
  • Talking about dying doesn’t have to be depressing, and humour can be a real help.
  • Once you’ve overcome any initial awkwardness there is every chance you will be relieved to have had the conversation.
  • Don’t let being worried about saying the wrong thing stop you from being there for people who are terminally ill or who have been bereaved.

For more information and advice about Dying Matters visit









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