Sensitive Communication

Open and honest communication between staff and the person who is dying, and those identified as important to them, including carers, is critically important to good care, clear, understandable and plain language must be used verbally and in all other forms of communication with the dying person and those important to them. If the dying person needs additional support to understand information, communicate their wishes or make decisions, these needs must be met.

Communication must be regular and proactive, i.e. staff must actively communicate, not simply wait for the person or those important to them to ask questions. It must be two-way, i.e. staff must sit down and listen to views of the person and those important to them, not simply provide information. Discussions should be conducted in a way that maximises privacy. Staff must check the other person’s understanding of the information that is being communicated and request consent to share that information.

Details of what has been discussed and with whom should be carefully recorded. The information should be shared with the Multidisciplinary Team.