Great conversations in Hull

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It has been a pleasure to spend the last two days at Hull/York Medical School with Professor Fliss Murtagh. Fliss and I first met almost 12 years ago when she invited me to give a seminar on heart failure trajectories at the end of life at Kings College, London. We’ve both moved since then – Fliss took up her post at HYMS in March and I’ve obviously traveled further afield! So it was great to have the opportunity to reconnect, particularly as her world-leading research on outcome measures in palliative care has resonance for current New Zealand thinking. It was also good to meet the research team working at the Wolfson Palliative Care Centre who posed some really interesting questions following my presentation, including: ‘do family members really have a choice not to care?’; and ‘isn’t there a danger that building family and whānau capacity to care will result in them becoming a cheap substitute for statutory services?’. I was also made aware of the work of artist Deborah Padfield who has produced striking photographs of the experience of pain. Lots of resonance with our work using digital media. Fliss is going to share the resources I showed, including the whānau digital stories, Ros Capper’s guide to caregiving, and the music video made with Pacific family carers, with the patient, family, and public involvement group she works with; we await their feedback with interest.


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