Skip navigation

Putting personal experience first

Tony Bonser Chair, People in Partnership The National Council for Palliative Care and Dying Matters opened today’s Delivering Individual Care Plans for Care of the Dying Person by speaking on:

• individual care planning: see the person not the paperwork
• delivering care with compassion

Tony talked about his personal experience following the death of his son Neil and the work that he has since been involved in.  Tony emphasised the importance of asking the patient and carer "what do you want?"  He also gave credit to Dr Kate Granger and her work on the "Hello my name is..." campaign which seeks to personalise care.

Tony has found patients want to:

  • be listened to
  • be given choice
  • understand and be understood
  • be involved in decisions


Tony said whilst being in denial about how seriously ill Neil was him and his wife heard or interpretted things they were being told differently to suit them not wanting to believe Neil was going to die.  He spoke about how important good positive communication is.  

Tony Bonser
Following the death of their son, Neil in 2009, Tony and his wife Dorothy became fund-raisers for Macmillan Cancer Support, being awarded the Douglas Macmillan Volunteer  Award in 2012, and members of the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) and the Dying Matters Coalition. They are now North West Local Champions for Dying Matters.

Tony is a trustee of NCPC, for whom he chairs the People in Partnership Group. He speaks and writes on end of life care issues, and campaigns for better communication between professionals and patients. He is quoted in various books on End of Life Care, and in reports from Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal College of Physicians. He has broadcast on local and national radio and has appeared on Granada Reports and BBC Breakfast, talking about EoLC issues. He is a member of the Independent Review Panel for the Liverpool Care Pathway, and of both the Voices and the “Find your 1%” initiatives.

He is currently co-writing a Peer-education programme for spiritual support for those approaching the end of life, their carers and those bereaved, and delivered workshops on this subject in Summer 2014 for the Northern New England School of Religious Education. He has worked with Help the Hospices to develop a view of the role of hospices in the future.

Both he and Dorothy work as volunteers for their local hospice, where he is a trustee. Both are driven by a desire to validate Neil’s life and death by working for better end of life care.

Future events of interest


Legal Issues in End of Life Care Masterclass
Tuesday 10 March 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Legal Issues in End of Life Care Masterclass
Tuesday 19 May 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Improving End of Life Care
Wednesday 20 May 2015 
Colmore Gate Conference Centre, Birmingham

21 January 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences