Let's talk: transforming end of life conversations

Opening up the conversation about death, dying and grief

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust is committed to improving 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.

What we are doing

We have worked with patients and carers to develop a leaflet and four short videos that explain do-not-attempt-cardio-pulmonary-resuscitation (DNACPR), treatment escalation planning (TEP), decision making and uncertain recovery to support (and not replace) advance care planning conversations. These will be tested in our clinical departments in spring 2019. When finalised, each ward will have a designated media pad allowing patients and carers easy access to the videos.

Working with the community

We are working with our community of Lambeth and Southwark to open up the conversation about death, dying and grief. We hope that by talking, making these conversations normal, we’re preparing our future patients and their families and building capacity to support each other through a bereavement. We will be partnering on a number of events through the year, starting with 'Let’s talk @ Vault Festival' between January-March.

Education and training for our staff

We are developing a new e-learning module that focuses on communication skills and process around DNACPR and TEP. Using an actor and clinician in role play, we will provide our staff the opportunity to observe the conversation and the correct process. This will be launched in spring 2019.

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’.