The Future of Dying: Creating a Network for Change

Categories: Education and Leadership.

 – building on the Lancet Commission Report on the Value of Death –

Following the success of the Lancet’s Commission on the Value of Death, The Future of Dying virtual conference, will take place on 21 June organised by St Christopher’s Hospice.

This half day conference will continue to examine how this crucial piece of work can inform best practice around the world, creating a global network for change.

The first in a series of events, The Future of Dying will bring together examples of the pioneering work already being done in the UK and internationally, connecting changemakers and innovators to embed the report’s recommendations into health and social care systems, communities, and ways of communicating.

Published in January 2022, the Lancet’s Commission on the Value of Death outlined how our relationship with death and dying needs rebalancing.

It suggested that the best way to do this is by resetting the relationships and partnerships between people who are dying, families, communities, health and social care systems, and the broader civic society.

The Future of Dying will build upon the Commission’s findings, and work through the five principles outlined in ‘The Realistic Utopia,’ exploring how they interlink and connect to inform and shape care in dying. Each principle will be discussed by a keynote speaker and illustrated by a case study.

Led by Dr Libby Sallnow (Lead) and chaired by Professor Heather Richardson (Chair), the full programme will include:

09:40 – 09:45  Dying is understood to be a relational and spiritual process rather than simply a physiological event – Prof. Heather Richardson, Professor Rajagopal


10:15 – 11:00  Conversations and stories about everyday death, dying and grief become common – Prof. Heather Richardson, Dr Ros Taylor


11:00 – 11:35  Networks of care lead support for people dying, caring and grieving – Prof. Heather Richardson, Dr Libby Sallnow


11:35 – 12:20  Death is recognised as having value – Prof. Heather Richardson, Dr Seamus O’Mahony


12:20 – 13:10  The social determinants of death, dying and grief are tackled – Prof. Heather Richardson, Dr Afsan Bhadelia




Co-author of the Value of Death and Senior Clinical Lecturer at St Christopher’s, Dr Libby Sallnow, said:

“The aim of this conference is about putting the high-level principles of the realistic utopia from the Lancet Commission on the value of death into practice, in the UK and globally. The realistic utopia presents a new vision for death and dying, and by taking it forward, we can change the lives of people who are dying as well as their communities for generations to come.


“I hope this conference will become a stepping stone to future events where we can grow a global community where we can discuss, share and learn from each other.”


The Future of Dying conference will take place on Zoom on 21 June, 9.30am-13.15pm. Recordings of the sessions will also be available for six months after the live event. Tickets cost £45.00 per person although bursary places for delegates from low and middle income countries are available.


To book a place, visit




Notes for editors



For further information, spokespeople or photography please contact:


Gabriella Brooks

Tel: 07758 339 609


About St Christopher’s Hospice

  • We were founded by Dame Cicely Saunders, who started the global hospice movement with the opening of St Christopher’s in 1967.
  • We are a charity, and we provide care and services free of charge. Though we are partially funded by the NHS, the majority of our running costs are very generously met by public donations. Each year, we need to raise at least £15million.
  • Our vision is of a world in which all dying people and those close to them have access to care and support, whenever and wherever they need it.
  • Our goal is to help people live well until they die, and support those affected by the loss of a friend or relative. We know that each person is unique and we tailor our care to meet social, emotional and spiritual needs, as well as manage physical symptoms.
  • We strongly believe that everyone should have access to the best care at the end of their lives and through a blend of expert practice, education and research we work with people across the world to improve and develop hospice care.
  • We usually have over 1,300 people under our care at any one time, and last year we provided care and support to over 5,000 patients and 2,000 families and carers across South London, both at home, out in the community and in the hospice.
  • We have over 500 dedicated staff and over 1,000 amazing volunteers.
  • You can support the hospice by donating, volunteering or shopping at one of our 26 local high street shops.
  • You can find our website by searching “” online, and we are also on social media – search @StChrisHospice on Twitter and Instagram.



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