Prior to the conference, I wrote a series of articles about ‘what to expect’ at conference. Thanks to the excellent and thorough work of the conference organisers, the ‘what really happened’ was not so different.
We are delighted to have received so much positive feedback from those who attended this year, and hear how inspiring and invigorating the content was.
Personally, as a newcomer to Hospice UK, the event was a wonderful chance for me to better understand the issues facing our members and their patients.
My favourite plenary sessions were the first and the last: Margaret McCartney’s ‘Death, dying and the Daily Mail’ and Sheldon Solomon’s exploration of death anxiety.
GP McCartney reminded us all of the dangerous slant that media outlets frequently put on the NHS, and the damage this is causing patient care. An aspect that really stuck with me was the idea that the discourse of ‘battling’ against cancer could be causing more harm than good for patients who are making choices about how and when they might die.
The whirlwind talk given by Sheldon Solomon was equally thought-provoking. Laced eloquently with quotes from Kierkegaard, Ernest Beckerand other philosophers, Solomon reminded us that although it is never on our to-do list, death is something we must all inevitably do.
I enjoyed how well Solomon linked the topic back from the existential to the tangible: that hospice care is at the vanguard of both medicine and humanity, as “hospices help people to embrace life, without denying death”.
“We are no more enduring or significant than a lizard or potato” how do we cope with this knowledge? Sheldon Solomon #HUKconf15
— Policy&Advocacy (@hospiceukPA) November 12, 2015
Outside of learning sessions, I spent the breaks in the exhibition hall, on the Hospice UK stand (spotted in the conference gallery!), where I enjoyed speaking to other exhibitors and delegates.
I also contributed to the #HUKconf15 thread on Twitter, where some really interesting conversations were taking place. Overall, it was a great few days, and I’m looking forward to next year already.
— Maddy Race (@maddy_race) November 11, 2015
For a selection of photo highlights please peruse the gallery.
If you would like to be among the first to hear about conference 2016, please register your interest online.
Great speakers, great subject matter, outstanding organisation and venue #HUKconf15 safe journey home everyone
— TracyLivingstone (@5Livingstone) November 12, 2015
— Eleni Tsiompanou (@DrEleni) November 11, 2015