Reading woman shares mum’s palliative care experience in Parliament

Reading woman shares mum’s palliative care experience in Parliament <i>(Image: Sue Ryder)</i>
Reading woman shares mum’s palliative care experience in Parliament (Image: Sue Ryder)

A Berkshire resident whose mum died in 2023 bravely shared her words in Parliament this week, in the hope of highlighting to decision-makers the difference access to the right palliative care and grief support can make.

Naomi Barlow, 20, from Reading, was sharing her experience as part of a parliamentary reception on Monday May 20 to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week, hosted by Sue Ryder with Hospice UK, Marie Curie, The National Bereavement Alliance and Together for Short Lives.

Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice cared for Naomi’s mum, Rachel, and Naomi says she will never forget the expert support they received.

She said: “When we got a phone call saying there was a bed available at the hospice it all happened so quickly.

“I was a bit scared about what the hospice would be like as you think of hospices as somewhere people go to die but they did everything they could to make us feel comfortable.”

Alongside Naomi at the parliamentary event was Sue Ryder’s Chief Medical Director, Dr Paul Perkins, who spoke about the importance of good palliative care.

“The event was really powerful and attended by parliamentarians, people with lived experience of palliative and end-of-life care, and those working in hospices across the UK,” Paul shared.

By sharing her story, Naomi hopes she can encourage political decision makers to consider how they can ensure everyone receives the best possible care and support at the end of life, and through bereavement.