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Musgrove staff asked what makes life enjoyable for them - 08 May 2017

Musgrove staff asked what makes life enjoyable for them - 08 May 2017

People who work at Musgrove Park Hospital are being asked what makes life enjoyable for them – so they can consider what will matter to people who are dying.

The hospital is hosting a mass conversation event to encourage everyone to talk more openly about life and death.

The event is being run by the hospital’s Art for Life programme and is part of international Dying Matters Awareness Week, which takes place this week (8 – 14 May).

People are being invited to the main hospital concourse on Wednesday 10 May, from 12:30pm, where they will have about 10 minutes to talk to someone else about what they enjoy in life.

They will be asked to write down a few key themes from their conversations and post it on a whiteboard, which is expected to create a powerful message from the staff at Musgrove.

Alongside the mass conversation, the hospital will also showcase an unfinished poem, written by a nurse from its emergency department. It is partly based on conversations the nurse had with staff, patients and loved ones about what makes life enjoyable.

Messages from the mass conversation will also help to inform future parts of the poem.

Allison Day, emergency nurse practitioner at Musgrove, is writing the poem to highlight the importance of communication being at the heart of a caring relationship within end of life care.

“The poem is called ‘Hippocrates’ Memo’, inspired by the ancient oath taken by doctors to do no harm and always act in the best interests of their patients,” she said.

“Over the last couple of years I have had some very moving conversations at the hospital and I have used these to create the poem. I hope it will continue to help people to talk about living, and of course dying.”

Dr Charlie Davis, palliative medicine consultant, who works at Musgrove Park Hospital and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“How we live and enjoy our life is very important to us all. But, at some point this life will begin to end.

“How we plan for and discuss death and dying is a difficult, but essential, part of life. It helps us know we will be given the best care possible and helps those around us to feel prepared and supported.

“The mass conversation event we are hosting at Musgrove will give people space and support in considering their lives, what is important now and what will be important to them in the future.”