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What Have I Done To Deserve This? Hospice Hosts Free Online Workshop Addressing Needs Of LGBTQIA+ Community Living With Advanced Ill Health

Mark Pedder, Lecturer Practitioner in Palliative & End of Life Care, Keech Hospice Care (Left) and Roger Kelly, Complementary Therapist, Keech Hospice Care (Right)

On Friday 7 July, Keech Hospice Care will hold a free online session open to the sector and the public. The session entitled What Have I Done To Deserve This? addresses inequalities in end of life provision and what can be done to make it more inclusive.

What Have I Done To Deserve This? aims to raise awareness of conscious and unconscious biases that members of the LGBTQIA+ community may face when receiving palliative care, how to support the community with specific challenges and how to recognise and meet individual needs.

In 2019, one in five lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Britain experienced a hate crime or incident related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, while three quarters of trans people are the target of transphobic abuse every year1.

Despite these figures, 57% of health and social care practitioners did not believe someone’s sexual orientation was relevant to their care needs2.

What Have I Done To Deserve This? is the brainchild of Mark Pedder, Lecturer Practitioner in Palliative & End of Life Care and Roger Kelly, Complementary Therapist, both at Keech Hospice Care. Their work on the experience of trans and gender diverse people receiving end of life and palliative care was featured in the ‘I Just Want To Be Me’ report published earlier this year.

Mark says:“Being diagnosed with an illness that requires palliative care often makes people feel very vulnerable. If, on top of that, you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, that feeling can heighten. Many worry they’ll be judged and decide to conceal their true selves. Some, especially older people, resort to re-closeting.

“When people are facing an intensely emotional time, the most important thing is that they feel free to be who they really are and to have their needs met. It’s about being inclusive and mindful. We want to help everyone live until they die, and that means helping them live authentically.”

Roger adds: “Family and friends as well as care professionals can inadvertently make assumptions about LGBTQIA+ people, which affects the care provided. This session aims to bring everyone towards a place of understanding. That includes loved ones who are supporting someone receiving end of life care, professionals who want to do the best job they can, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are receiving palliative care.

“Participants needn’t be afraid to ask questions or fear saying ‘the wrong thing’. Our philosophy is that, as long as it’s relevant, there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ question.”

Anyone who’d like to get involved should register here. The session will be beneficial for all health care professionals or members of the public wanting to explore more ways of challenging inequality.

 

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