Blog End of life care

Upholding Diversity

Freddie Chandler
Freddie Chandler

At St Wilfrid’s Hospice, we are committed to ensuring everyone we care for gets the treatment they want regardless of their faith, belief, ethnicity, orientation or gender. Dr. Tara Bergara has kindly discussed the importance of diversity to her and St Wilfrid’s, as well as how we are working to best uphold this.

Hello again!

Some of you may already recognize me from my blog post last year or from the Inpatient Unit, but for those whom I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting; I am Dr. Tara Bergara, Pronouns She/Her, a Specialty Doctor at St Wilfrid’s Hospice and volunteer secretary on the Chichester Pride Committee.

I firmly believe that in a world bustling with activity, it’s essential to pause and recognise the unique journey of each of us as individuals. I feel incredibly privileged to work in an environment where my own identity is embraced, and my passions for compassionate care and advocacy for others collide.

Informed by the eye-opening insights from Hospice UK’s “I Just Want to Be Me” report of 2023 and the GIRES “Being Ready” project, at St Wilfrid’s Hospice we strive to embrace and respect the authenticity of every individual, particularly those who may feel less confident in seeking healthcare support towards the end of life.

Extending our support

The “I Just Want to Be Me” report and the “Being Ready” project underscore the challenges sadly often encountered by members of the LGBTQ+ community in accessing healthcare services, particularly in accessing end-of-life care that respects the wishes of all patients, including those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. These findings serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of fostering an environment of inclusivity and understanding.

At St Wilfrid’s, we stand unwaveringly committed to overcoming any perceived barriers to ensure we continue to provide a safe and supportive space, whether as an inpatient, in our Living Well Centre, or in the community, where all individuals are welcomed and valued. We uphold the principles of empathy, dignity, and respect in every interaction, ensuring that each individual receives the highest standard of care tailored to their unique needs and preferences.

Being actively involved in the community

In demonstrating allyship and support, St Wilfrid’s is pleased to have been a part of Chichester Pride in 2023, where a fantastic day was had by all, Wilf the Owl included! St Wilfrid’s Hospice extends a heartfelt invitation to our LGBTQ+ friends and allies to join us by lining the streets as we proudly participate in the first ever Chichester Pride Parade in the morning on the 25th May 2024, as we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate the diversity that enriches our society. Then, come visit our stall at the event for an opportunity to connect, engage, and affirm our collective commitment to inclusivity and empowerment.

This year, the Chichester Pride committee (comprised entirely of volunteers) has poured their hearts and souls into Chichester Pride 2024, aiming to make it even better. The event will feature a move to the front of Chichester College, a bigger stage, and 7 hours jam-packed with enigmatic hosts, sassy sashaying Drag Queens, delightful dance performances (where audience participation is positively encouraged), plus interactive workshops free-of-charge. Chichester Pride 2024 aims to be inclusive for all. It is a family-friendly event with disabled access facilitated alongside official BSL interpreters to increase accessibility across the whole community.

Speaking as myself, as the secretary for Chichester Pride, and as a doctor at St. Wilfrid’s Hospice, we would absolutely love for you to join us in our efforts to foster a culture of acceptance, understanding, and support for all. Together, let us uphold diversity and dignity in every aspect of care.

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