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P-137 End of life care in the digital age –extending the reach of sue ryder’s advice and support
  1. Joseph Freeman and
  2. Samantha Cheverton
  1. Sue Ryder, London, UK


Project aim: provide compassionate and personalised advice and support for carers, family, and friends of people who are dying or have died.

Sue Ryder’s vision is to create a world where everyone has access to personalised and compassionate hospice and neurological care. To achieve this, we have been extending services outside the walls of our hospices at pace for some time.

Together with digital media experts Sift Digital, we carried out in-depth research through face-to-face and telephone interviews with 10 people who access Sue Ryder’s hospice services, combined witha more extensive online survey with a broader pool of relevant service users.

From the user research, two very clear needs stood out:

  1. Information: about death and dying including practical concerns like applying for financial help or funeral planning.

  2. Support Community: users want to find out about others’ experiences and ask questions.

This has led to creation of an online community for people to come together and share experiences, as well as access expert advice from Sue Ryder Nurses. We have also collated and explained the practical information already out there and added a ‘human’ touch to what can be quite clinical and bureaucratic information.

"I know when my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer I would have found it very useful to have been given this guidance to help me access help and information."

“As a former hospice chaplain and a cancer patient myself I really like the style and tone. When you're feeling tired and poorly the last thing you want are leaflets that are hard to read.”

The Sue Ryder online community launched at the end of May 2015.

Independent hospices can promote Sue Ryder’s online community and support to their patients to provide 24/7 access to a safe space to share experiences with people who understand, and access to expert (non-clinical) information.

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