Skip to Main Content Skip to Site Map Skip to Accessibility Statement

Palliative Care Week 2023: ‘Living for Today, Planning for Tomorrow’



We are supporting the 10th annual Palliative Care Week, which is to be held from 10-16 September 2023.

Palliative Care Week is facilitated by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), with the theme this year being ‘Living for Today, Planning for Tomorrow’.

The AIIHPC is a leading organisation representing hospices, health and social care organisations and universities on the island of Ireland with national and international influence driving excellence in palliative care. The aim of Palliative Care Week is to raise awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

Palliative Care Week takes place across the island of Ireland from Sunday 10th to Saturday 16th September, all aimed at turning the spotlight onto palliative care and raising awareness of the difference palliative care can make to people with life-limiting conditions, carers and families throughout the island of Ireland.

Bernie McCafferty, Interim Assistant Director for Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation, Western Trust said:

“This year’s theme of ‘Living for today, Planning for tomorrow’ was chosen because we wanted to emphasise how palliative care enables people to have a good quality of life in the here and now, while also providing them with assurance and comfort around their future.

“It’s important to remember that palliative care is available to people at all stages of illness, as well as people of all ages. There’s a common misconception that palliative care is only associated with end of life care, but really it’s about improving a person’s day to day life from the time of diagnosis. It’s about supporting them to do some of the things that they enjoy; be it hobbies or simply spending time with loved ones.”

“Most of us will have known someone throughout our lives who has availed of palliative care. These shared experiences are the reason why this year for Palliative Care Week we want to connect with as many people as possible in the Western Trust area and help them to be better informed about all aspects of palliative care.”

This year’s theme ‘Palliative Care: Living as well as possible will raise awareness of the wide range of supports which can be mobilised by health and social care professionals, to help people with palliative care needs and their loved ones to live as well as possible.

“People with palliative care needs are being supported by the whole community beyond formal health and social care services. A personalised network of support can involve a broad range of professionals from primary care (such as GP’s and District Nurses), family and friends and the wider community, supporting a person whether they are at home, in hospital, in a nursing home or hospice.”

“We want people to have a better understanding of palliative care, so if the need arises for themselves or someone close to them, they will feel able to discuss it with their loved ones and health professionals. We would encourage the members of our community to speak with their GP or any other healthcare professional if you think palliative care could help you or someone you love.”

The Trust’s Specialist Palliative Care Team is hosting two workshops around Palliative Care Awareness week to acknowledge and celebrate the significant impact the Healthcare Assistant makes within the multi-disciplinary team in delivering Palliative and End of Life Care. Emma King, Macmillian Specialist Palliative Care Team Manager with the Western Trust explained:

“The Nursing Healthcare Assistant plays a valuable and essential role in delivering palliative and end of life care in all care settings, supporting patients and their families with a life limiting illness, but sometimes their contributions can go unrecognised. The interactive workshops the Trust will be holding aims to build and develop on their existing knowledge, skills and approach which will hopefully have a positive impact for the patients and their families that they will continue to encounter.”

Emma continued:

“So often, people think that palliative care is only available at end of life, but it can benefit people at all stages of illness, and people of all ages. It can be provided for years, with some people having long periods of being well, moving in and out of palliative care services, depending on their needs at that particular point in time.

“It improves the quality of life of family carers as well as the quality of life of the person with palliative care needs, and can be received in a hospice/specialist palliative care unit, a hospital, nursing home or at the person’s own home, again depending on the needs of the individual.

“For us, Palliative Care Week is about showing people that palliative care is about more than just end of life care, and indeed more than just treating physical symptoms. It’s about caring for the emotional, social and spiritual needs of the person and those important to them, hopefully making things that little bit easier.”

The Trust will also hold information stands for anyone who would like to come and speak to one of our palliative care professionals:

Foyleside Shopping Centre Wednesday 13th September 10.00am – 4.00pm.

South West Acute Hospital Main Foyer Tuesday 12th September 2.00pm – 4.00pm.