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NHS England. NHS long term workforce plan. 2023. https//

Reflecting on the ‘Palliative care’ column

02 December 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 12

This is my 200th palliative care column for the Mark Allen Group of journals, with the bulk of them written for the British Journal of Community Nursing. In this article, I want to reflect on the purpose, progress and achievements of this monthly palliative care column, which I started writing in 2011, with the specific purpose of disseminating the ethos of palliative care among community nurses. At the time, many people wanted to be cared for and to die at home, and this column offered the knowledge and skills necessary to care for dying people in their own surroundings. It also served to give confidence to community nurses about death and dying, and how to manage some of the complex psychological and emotional challenges encountered when people die. The main aim was to share the philosophy, principles and practices of palliative care in general and show how these can be applied within the community. Some of the early columns focussed on helping community nurses to introspect, understand their own beliefs/value systems as a platform to help others who were dying. This included considering their own attitudes, fears and biases towards death and dying and, more importantly, how they could best support those they care for as they approach the end of life.

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