COBH1.jpgSarah McGaughey, clinical matron at the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover, is encouraging the local community to talk openly about life, death and bereavement as part of Dying Matters Week.

The week, which runs from 13 – 19 May, focuses on a series of questions and topics to encourage people to think about death, bereavement and talking to loved ones about these issues.

“It’s a difficult topic for most of us – but it doesn’t have to be,” Sarah said. “Talking about dying can help ensure that loved ones receive the right care and support, and we can plan for the future, including where we want to be at the end of our lives. 

 “It’s important that patients with life-limiting illnesses or at the end of their lives can live as well as possible, and part of that is having timely conversations about the things that matter to them.

“At the Countess of Brecknock Hospice, we see the difference this makes every day and it’s a privilege for us to be part of that person’s journey.”

The Countess of Brecknock Hospice is a specialist palliative care unit run by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and situated within Andover War Memorial Hospital. The hospice multi-disciplinary team consists of doctors, nurses, therapists, counsellors and support staff who all work together to help people live as well as possible.

As well as caring for patients at the end of their lives, the team provide specialist care for people with life-limiting illness through outpatient clinics and a day hospice service. The team also work within the community, offering a hospice at home service and working in close partnership with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist palliative care community and hospital teams.

Thanks to the support of the Countess of Brecknock Hospice Charity and everyone who has donated to the charity, work is currently underway to extend the hospice, providing 10 new inpatient rooms, a multi-use treatment room and enlarged day care centre, new relative’s room and quiet room and a new entrance and reception area.

This exciting project will allow Sarah and her team to provide the best possible care to patients, in a comfortable and state-of-the-art environment purpose built for their needs.

Sarah is looking for dedicated and passionate individuals to join her team to help care for the local community in Andover.  

She said: “Our new building will be an amazing environment to work in with excellent facilities for patients and our staff.  I’d be very happy to talk to nurses who are interested in joining our family here at Andover hospital.  Call me on 01264 835288 or visit for details.”

Dying Matters Week also raises awareness of the ways to get involved with your local hospice, by joining the team, volunteering, or raising money to ensure important services can continue.

Visit to find out more about the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover, and how to lend your support.