Somerset End of Life Conference

26th May 2022

What are your wishes, hopes, and fears, for the end of life?   Have you thought about this in connection with your own advance care planning?   Or could you offer support to someone else approaching the end of life? 

Hundreds of healthcare professionals from Somerset’s hospices, hospitals, care homes and primary care attemded a conference in Taunton to explore how multi-disciplinary care can be offered at the end of life.  Spiritual care is a key part of that multi-disciplinary team and Bishop Ruth was among the guest speakers in a session on ‘working in partnership to deliver person-centred spiritual care with compassion and creativity’.   

Bishop Ruth drew on the experience of her own nursing training.  From her Christian perspective, she made connections with video stories presented by palliative healthcare professionals at the conference.  Bishop Ruth concluded by quoting from the Canticle of the Sun by St Francis of Assisi, with its gentle words about death and its powerful Christian message in celebration of life.  There was a moving and inspiring discussion following Bishop Ruth’s talk which demonstrated again the key role of spiritual care within an end of life multi-disciplinary team.  People spoke of the hope that can counter fear and the gift of time and tender conversations enabling people to be at peace with their past, their family and the last days of their life.

The session was organised by Revd Ann Fulton, Spiritual Care Coordinator at St Margaret’s Hospice Care and supported by Revd Mike Haslam, Diocesan Chaplaincy Adviser.  Ann and Mike are working with the NHS, care homes, hospitals, hospices and faith communities to enable everyone in Somerset to be offered the spiritual care of their choice at the end of life.  Ann Fulton offers training and support to parish pastoral teams and within healthcare.  The Somerset End of Life Care and Berevement Support  website has just been launched which includes spiritual care resources. Bath and Wells has just signed a partnership with Anna Chaplaincy Anna Chaplaincy | Offering spiritual care in later life; this is a national network offering spiritual care to older people.   

If you would like to discover more about end of life spiritual care, either for yourself or to support someone else, you are invited to email Ann Fulton or email Mike Haslam


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