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Ad campaign highlights role of palliative care nurses at night


Charity Marie Curie has launched a new TV and radio advertising campaign to highlight the care and support that its nurses provide through the night to people living with a terminal illness.

It is the first advertising campaign for the charity since it announced a new strategic focus of providing care and support through all terminal illness, including terminal cancer, earlier this year.

“My job can be difficult, both emotionally and physically, but the satisfaction you get from being able to provide one to one care and support overnight is so rewarding”

Elizabeth Whoolley

The TV advert “Light in the darkest hours” is intended to highlight the support and care Marie Curie nurses provide to patients and their relatives and carers through the night.

It shows the sun setting on a city scene and a nurse, represented by a ball of glowing light, arriving at a home to start her shift at 10pm.

During the night the light moves around the home, representing the light that nurses bring to people in their darkest hours.

As morning comes, the light is revealed as a nurse leaving the house at the end of her shift.

The advert features Marie Curie nurse Elizabeth Woolley, who has worked for the charity for seven years.

Ms Woolley said: “I immediately bonded with the main actress, Lucinda, who plays the daughter in the ad.

“We got chatting on set and found out that we shared the experience of caring for our own mothers, who both died from cancer,” she said. “This made the filming all the more poignant for us.

“Although the cameras were running, I wasn’t acting and it felt as if we were going through a real life situation together,” she added.

“Families often talk about our nurses as being a light in the darkest hours and we hope the ad will help us reach more people at a time when they need it most”

Jude Bridge

Ms Woolley acknowledged that providing one-to-one care and support overnight could be emotionally and physically “difficult”, but said it was also “rewarding”.

“For me, I’ve loved nursing from the moment I started and I still do. It is just for me.

“My grandmother was a nurse just after the First World War, so it runs in the blood,” she added.

Jude Bridge, Marie Curie’s executive director marketing, fundraising and public affairs, said: “We wanted the advertising campaign to focus on the nursing care we provide to people through the night at home and the impact this has on loved ones.

“Families often talk about our nurses as being a light in the darkest hours and we hope the ad will help us reach more people at a time when they need it most,” she said. 

The advert was produced by Saatchi and Saatchi and will run throughout October.


Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    24 hour support is needed - but I wish clinicians would drop this word 'palliative' because I don't consider it helpful 'in the round'. There are too may 'labels' and some actually hinder.

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  • michael stone

    My 'issue' with 'palliative', was covered in a comment I posted to a piece on Marie Curie at:

    One of the authors of the original article then posted a comment, and he agreed with me - his comment included:

    'I agree that the tendency for clinicians to label patients as “palliative” or “not palliative” is unhelpful. One of the biggest barriers to providing the best possible care is the feeling that “palliative care” should only be given to those who have been labelled as palliative in the first place. It’s a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

    We have argued that anybody with a life-limiting illness should
    receive a balance of care based on their needs, not on a label assigned by a clinician. One thing this project demonstrated is that you can help clinicians identify patients with unmet palliative care” needs but not require them to engage in a process of labelling a patient as “palliative.” That way for
    patients, loved ones and clinicians can begin the kind of open communication about their illness that can be so helpful for all concerned.'

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