People in Wales are less likely to have written any sort of advance care plan than anywhere else in Britain, according to research released for Dying Matters Awareness Week.
Just 2% of the public have expressed their preferences for future care in writing, should there come a time when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. Meanwhile, 85% of the Welsh public believe that people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying and death.
Wales’ Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford says that planning for the end of life is “vital”.
“We make plans for life’s biggest events – births, graduations and weddings – but all too often we hide away from the one which will have the biggest impact on the people around us,” he said.
“It is vital that we talk, plan and make arrangements for the end of life before it’s too late. It is only through open and honest conversation our wishes will be known. This is why I want to encourage conversations with family, friends, carers and healthcare professionals about end of life wishes, to support us in thinking about our own mortality, to help us to support as good a death as possible for each of us.
“The more conversations and the more planning we can do, the better care we can offer at end of life. Planning for end of life means we are more likely to achieve the care and, ultimately, the death an individual would wish for.”
The work of the English Dying Matters Coalition is to be extended to Wales as part of the three-year plan for improving end of life care in Wales – ‘Together for health – delivering end of life care’.
The plan, published in April last year, sets out an ambition for greater public awareness of the need to have arrangements in place for the end of life, including making a will, addressing financial matters and making a plans for care at the end of life.