In the wake of a tumultuous 2020 we held a public online roundtable event to address the question of accompaniment at the end of life in light of Covid-19. Taking place in late September the event was chaired by the LBC broadcaster Shelagh Fogarty.
In a year when so much seems to have changed, the fundamental priorities of holistic care remain the same; we still aim to accompany the dying with humanity, compassion tailored to their individual needs and the needs of their families. However, we acknowledge that he pandemic experience has challenged our creativity to add new tools to the toolkit.
The task is to continue that same high standard of companionship, based on the same strong foundations while opening up to further creativity and development using the new tools of experience gained during the pandemic.
Dr Kathryn Mannix – Palliative care physician and best-selling author of With the End in Mind.
Baroness llora Finlay â€“ Welsh doctor, professor of palliative medicine, and an Independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords, and a member of the APHG.
Dr Lynn Bassett â€“ Retired Healthcare Chaplain in Acute and Palliative settings.
Gazala Makda â€“ End of Life Doula, Care and Occupational Therapy Expert Witness.
Over 200 people took part online including student nurses, intensive care doctors, medical and palliative care consultants, chaplains, geriatricians and carers. Towards the end of the event attendees were given an opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts.
In particular our panellists made the case for families and end of life companions being allowed into hospitals and nursing homes to be with patients dying of Covid-19.
Watch a video of the event in full: Rethinking accompaniment at the end of life.