Pass it on before you pass away

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Dying Matters so 'Pass it on before you pass away'.

Dying Matters. It’s important to talk about death while still very much alive. Do your family know if you’re an organ donor for instance, or what you want to happen at your funeral? Our ‘Pass it on before you pass away’ campaign asks you to consider what you want in death and to start important conversations. It encourages you to consider opting in for organ donation and to complete an Advance Decision, which explains what you would want if you couldn’t speak for yourself. There’s a free leaflet available to help you start the conversation.

Ourproject brings together Cornish charity Cornwall Hospice Care, the NHS Organ Donation Team from the Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske, Healthwatch Cornwall and Compassion in Dying. The details have been developed with members of the Lostwithiel Young Farmers Club who named the campaign ‘Pass it on before you pass away’ and who understand the need for young people in particular to consider taking important actions like signing up for organ donation.

Brian Tierney is NHS Specialist Nurse Organ Donation and is supporting the project; “I’m delighted to be part of this collaboration as the more people who join our organ donation register the better. 46% of the population in Cornwall have signed up but we need to keep spreading the word and helping people to understand the difference they can make. At present 500 folk a year who are on the transplant waiting list, die and we want to lower this figure.”

Deb Thomas is Cornwall Hospice Care’s Education Lead; “By completing the Advance Decision you are clearly stating what you want to happen if you are injured or ill and can’t make decisions for yourself.  It’s not a Will but a recognition of your wishes should something happen to you. We’re delighted to be working with Compassion in Dying who have provided us with paper copies of the Advance Decision and the link (right) to complete it online.”

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When you sign up as an organ donor and complete the Advance Decision you’ll be given a special card for your wallet/purse and key ring that’s been compiled in association with Healthwatch Cornwall who are also backing the campaign. The card was inspired by a similar one designed by St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth.

Chief Executive of Healthwatch Cornwall Amanda Stratford said; “We are incredibly pleased to join together with Cornwall Hospice Care in offering this Advance Decision card and hope the campaign will help ensure people’s wishes are more easily known if something happens to them.”

Dr Deborah Stevens, Medical Director for Cornwall Hospice Care says; “we would love to hear from any groups or organisations that would like to know more about the campaign and how they can help.  We will come along and brief you, provide all the materials you need and support you as you help pass the information on. The more people who take part the bigger the difference we can make to everyone’s lives.”

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“Only 4% of adults in the UK have got what is known as an ‘Advance Decision’ and yet 80% have strong views about how they want to be treated.``

Get involved

If you would like a free leaflet, card or someone to speak with your group or organisation, please e-mail communications@cornwallhospice.co.uk or call us on 01726 839156.