Background During the pandemic, the humanity of death has often been lost. In October 2020, Ashgate Hospicecare launched The Life and Death Podcast to humanise the process of dying by telling universal stories through local voices.
Aims To open up conversations around death, hospice care and what ‘dying well’ really means.
Methods We brought together givers and receivers of end-of-life care to have honest conversations around the importance of a dignified death. In each episode, we met a different pair connected by Ashgate as they reflected on their unique relationships and the reality of end-of-life care. We worked closely with Reform Radio, a non-profit community production company, to record and edit the series which launched during Hospice Care Week.
Results ‘This morning I watched the funeral of a dear friend being streamed. Tonight, I was sent this podcast and it has helped calm my scrambled thoughts.’ This review, left during a national lockdown, demonstrates just how impactful this series has been. Another listener wrote, ‘These are exactly the kinds of conversations we need to be having with each other, in order to become a society who can support each other through death and dying.’ Unbelievably, the series reached the top 100 charts on Apple Podcasts, has received over 100 5* reviews and 3,800 listens. The podcast’s release also attracted local press coverage, including The Derbyshire Times, Hasland Magazine, Destination Chesterfield, Imagine Radio and BBC Radio Sheffield. The podcast has been so successful that we have launched a second series, featuring Kathryn Mannix and other special guests.
Conclusions The Life and Death Podcast has opened up conversations that many find difficult, highlighted the importance of good quality end-of-life care and brought comfort to listeners across the country and beyond.
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