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Let's talk: transforming end of life care conversations

Opening up the conversation about death, dying and grief

Let's talk: Transforming end of life care conversations is an initiative led by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. Our aim is to improve the experience of patients, carers, staff and the general public in talking about and preparing for death, both in hospital and in the wider community.

Supporting patient and carer conversations

We've worked with patients and carers to develop videos that explain how clinical decisions are made, options for place of care, how to plan when recovery is uncertain and do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions (DNACPR). Our aim is to support patients and carers to understand the different options available for managing their condition and to be involved in planning their care and treatment.

Please see our information videos to support conversations about planning ahead.

Transforming end of life care lead Kimberley St John leading a conversation with comedian Cariad Lloyd, journalist Erica Buist and Kris Hallenga from Coppa Feel during the 2019 VAULT festivalPublic information

We are working with our community of Lambeth and Southwark to open up the conversation about death, dying and grief. We hope that by making these conversations normal, we’re preparing our future patients and their families and building capacity to support each other. We have worked with a range of organisations including VAULT festival (pictured right), More Yoga, Healthwatch, Picturehouse Cinemas and Bubble Theatre.

Education and training

We are improving our education and training. We have developed an e-learning module for our staff that focuses on communication skills and process around treatment escalation planning. Our module uses an actor and clinician in role play, providing healthcare professionals the opportunity to observe the conversation and the correct process.

The 'Second Conversation' is an on-the-job training tool designed to improve junior doctors confidence in end of life care conversations. This was developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. We launched this across our Foundation programme in 2018, with over 90% of our trainees using this tool to practice their skills.