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deaths of people here and across the world, there is a reluctance to think or talk about our own death or the deaths of those who are significant to us.


In its 2003 report Public awareness of palliative care, the Scottish

Partnership for Palliative Care found that 70% of respondents thought that

Scottish society survey across

does not discuss death the UK conducted by

and the

dying enough, and in 2009 a National Centre for Social

Research indicated discussed

for Dying Matters (2009) found that while 68% of respondents that they are comfortable talking about death, only 29% had their wishes around dying and only 4% had written advance

care plans.


as part of the Living

and and

similar figures, lie behind Dying Well programme to

work being explore,


“ideas and issues for addressing palliative and end of life care from a public health and health promotion perspective”. The working group is grateful to those pursuing this remit in Living and Dying Well for the opportunity to share in their work, and would support the work being undertaken to encourage conversations about death, dying and bereavement at national and personal levels.


Audit Scotland, in its 2008 review of Palliative Care gathered the

views of almost 1000 bereaved families and friends. they noted:

Among their findings

“Patients’ families and informal carers often need support around, and after, the death of a family member or friend. Bereavement support is most readily available where the patient has been cared for by specialist palliative care services, but provision is inconsistent.


Audit Scotland (2008) also reported that while six NHS boards

were reported to have specialist bereavement support provision in their

hospitals or hospices,

specialist psychological and bereavement support is largely hospice- based, so those who live a long way from a hospice are disadvantagedleading them to a recommendation to the Health Department that they should

Shaping Bereavement Care 15

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