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Enfield campaigner was the inspiration behind MP’s Private Members Bill

  • Published date
    21/11/2018
  • Author
    North London Hospice
  • Category
    North London Hospice

When North London Hospice patient Joy Watkins gave a speech about her experience of hospice care, little did she know it would lead to a Private Members Bill being delivered in the House of Commons this week by her MP Bambos Charalambous.

But when he heard Joy speak about the years of care she had received from the Hospice during her battle with cancer and the important role it plays in the community despite the lack of adequate government funding, the Enfield Southgate MP was inspired to take up the cause.

On Friday (23rdNovember) Mr Charalambous will highlight the need for public bodies to work more closely with hospices in the provision of palliative care, acknowledge the role hospices play in patient wellbeing and call for the provision of support for those caring for individuals with a terminal illness.

The Bill – Titled Terminal Illness (Provision of Palliative Care and Support for Carers) Bill – has received huge support from fellow MPs following its first reading in May, which Joy was proud to watch from the public gallery.

Mr Charalambous said: “Joy’s inspirational character and words are the sole reason why this Bill exists. The work of North London Hospice helped Joy to live the last days of her life in dignity. Decent end of life care must be universally accessible. For each person, we only have one chance to get it right.”

Sadly Joy passed away in August so this has become her legacy and has fittingly been dubbed ‘Joy’s Bill’ both in the Commons and by her friends and supporters.

North London Hospice Chief Executive Pam McClinton said: “Joy Watkins was an inspiring woman and a perfect example of someone who continued to live life to the full with the support of North London Hospice and her many friends for years after her diagnosis. This Bill is a fitting tribute to her as we experience a growing need for a more cohesive approach to palliative care in our communities, where public bodies work together with hospices in providing both wellbeing supportand end-of-life care.

“Carers play such an important role in providing support to those with life-limiting or terminal illnesses and to do this they need to receive the necessary support themselves, whether it’s emotional or financial. With our ageing population, this need will continue to grow so we welcome the start of the discussion in Parliament.”

Ends

Further Information:  Communications Team: Rita Saggar or Alison Moore 020 8446 2288

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