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Hospice hosts free workshop for LGBTQIA+ community

Photo of two people sitting facing each other smiling. The person on the left is wearing a pale blue nurse's shirt and has a stethoscope around their neck. They are holding the wrist of the person on the right, who holds a walking stick in their left hand.

Keech Hospice Care has hosted a free online session open to anyone in the sector and the wider public. The session ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ addressed inequalities in end of life provision and what can be done to make it more inclusive.

‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ aimed 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 year. Despite these figures, 57% of health and social care practitioners did not believe someone’s sexual orientation was relevant to their care needs.

‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?’ was 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 Pedder said: “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.” 

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