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P-35 Engaging hospice inpatients to share a conversation about ‘what’s most important to me’
  1. Karen Jackson and
  2. Louise McKay
  1. Havens Hospices, Southend-on-Sea, UK


Introduction Engaging people who have life-limiting conditions to talk about what matters most to them should be a key activity of all palliative care services. ‘What’s most important to me?’ is more than just clinical care, it is: What I really care about; What is special to me; What I want to do or achieve.

Aims Our aim is to give every individual that comes into our care the opportunity to share with us what is most important to them (if they wish to do so), enabling: Provision of holistic, person-centred care; the courage to dream and aspire to achieve in whatever time they have; support in opening those conversations with those close to them.


  • Care Team Journal Club shared article and ‘What Matters Conversations’ film and thereafter were keen to progress this idea for improvement.

  • A nurse shared her experience of using slate hearts to record people’s wishes at another hospice.

  • Quality improvement methodology applied to test the idea.

  • Large blue heart poster created for individuals to write on as they wish.


  • Positive response with hearts used to record thoughts, hopes, ideas, aspirations, dreams.

  • Hearts taken home or, for bereaved people, the blue hearts create a meaningful keepsake.

  • Blue heart conversations have enabled a visit from a horse, a recorded message from a celebrity and has opened the door to many conversations between those who are dying and their loved ones.

Conclusion A simple idea successfully translated in to practice with very little cost but incredible benefit. Empowers people who use our service to share what truly matters to them and has enabled them to achieve, in some cases, what they never dreamed possible.

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