I have had a few roles in my life – Registered Nurse, Director of Primary Care and Director of Finance in NHS, Expert Witness in care and case management, Chief Executive of several health and care charities, but death and dying seems to have been a thread throughout my working life. Starting as a nurse on a high dependency liver unit at a time when most people died of liver disease, to being a funeral director, a volunteer with a charity challenging funeral poverty or creating projects that tried to bring death and dying back into our communities.
As well as being an End of Life Doula to individuals and the people important to them, I also take my role wider and try to influence the way we support people who are dying under the care of the NHS, attempting to breakdown some of the automatic medicalisation. Therefore, I am a member of NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) committees; the one that produced the clinical guidelines for NHS health professional supporting adults at the end of life (replacing the Liverpool Care Pathway) and currently the committee that is developing service guidelines for adults in the last year of life. I am also a member of the NACEL (National Audit of Care at End of Life) Steering Group, the body that is auditing the experience of people dying within an NHS setting.
As well as being a Wedding and Funeral Celebrant, I am also a member of other parts of the Humanists UK community e.g. by doing project work as a consultant and being a trainer and mentor.