End of Life Doula

Accompanying people at the end of their life


We all have a right to be supported at the end of life. We should be able to choose the way we end our final months, days, weeks and hours; and most importantly, that we are able to live until the very last moment. This is why I am an End of Life Doula and accompany people (and their friends and family if appropriate) who know their life is soon to come to an end.

My experience of nursing, health and care management, conducting funerals and developing community services all provide me with additional knowledge and experiences that support me in this role. But the most important characteristics I have that enable me to be a good Doula are that I care, have compassion and empathy and I am passionate about supporting people to live full lives and have a good death.


Find out more about supporting you at the end of your life. Call me – Nett Furley – 07771 595626.


What is an End of Life Doula?

As an End of Life Doula I aim to reduce peoples fear of death, to enable them to be more practically and emotionally prepared for it and to improve the ‘quality of dying’.

Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition or you just want to plan for the future. As an End of Life Doula, I can support you during this time. I see death and dying as a natural and normal part of our life cycle.

I help people to experience a better death. My role is unpredictable, as it is totally tailored to you and the people important to you, but might include –

  • Helping you to put your affairs in order e.g. creating a Will, Lasting Powers of Attorneys, Advance Decisions, Goals and Wishes
  • Talking to you about your choice of a place to die or about the financial support you can get
  • Offering practical help, such as sitting with you while your family do errands
  • Attending appointments with you
  • Helping you to reconcile with friends or relatives who you wish you hadn’t fallen out, or lost touch, with
  • Speaking to you about your fears and wishes and aspirations
  • Helping you to have difficult conversations with friends or relatives about dying
  • Being the bridge between professionals and you and your family
  • Or simply just sitting with you or your relative, either in conversation or silence
  • Planning your funeral or memorial
  • And of course, if you want me to, I’ll accompany you, or the person important to you, as you die

I can do all or just some of these things with you – or maybe you need something different.

But for me, the most important thing I do is support you to live until the very last breath of life.


Why have I not heard of an End of Life Doula before?

End of Life Doulas have only been established in this country since 2011 when Living Well Dying Well set up the training course. This was built upon the experience of a similar model in Australia, Sweden, Ireland and New Zealand, and from Birth Doulas who have been supporting pregnant woman in the UK for some years now.

The End of Life Doula model now has the support of national and local health and care organisations.



How will you support me?

The support you will receive from me will be determined by you. This might be emotional, practical, and/or spiritual. It may be liaising with health professionals on your behalf, supporting your family or friends, talking through how you are feeling or helping you think through how you want the end of your life to be and how you want to live the rest of your life as fully as you can.

It could be helping you to have those difficult conversations with friends and family, finding ways of getting you the resources you need (financial, equipment, care, information etc), supporting you or your family to arrange a funeral ceremony. Or, just being your companion.

Of course, the support you need may change over time. You decide and I will help you to do so.


Will you also support my family, friends and other people important to me?

My primary concern will be supporting you. Often the best way to do this is to support your family and friends. So yes, I will support them as best I can.



I have been told that I have a terminal
illness, but am not sure if I need
an End of Life Doula

Anyone can benefit from having a Doula during this difficult time, especially as the support I will provide is tailored to whatever you need at the time. However, if you are not sure (which is likely as you will have so much on your mind at this time), then I am more than happy to speak to you without any obligation to take this any further. This could be on the phone, zoom or in person.



I already have a palliative care nurse/doctor/social worker, why do I need an End of Life Doula?

A Doula is not a nursing or medical practitioner but is an informed companion who will understand how the health and care system works and what is available for people who are approaching end of life. One of my roles could be to liaise with the professionals on your behalf, accompanying you to appointments, advocating for you, helping you think through what you want from those services.

I can be the bridge between the professionals and your family and friends as appropriate, holding everyone together so that you get the best support you can. I have a lot of experience in health and care, having been a nurse in the past and a chief executive and director of health and care services. I know my way around the system and understand the jargon and options that you may be presented to you. I will work with all the professionals who will be caring for you, always on your behalf.


At what stage do I contact you to become my Doula?

At any stage you like. Whether you have just been diagnosed with a terminal condition and may have years left to live, or if you have only months, weeks or days left. My support will adapt to your current and future needs. It may be that you just need someone to talk to at this stage and things develop at a later stage so that you require more practical as well as emotional support. When we meet, we will together consider what kind of support you would benefit from and put together an agreement of what we can expect of each other.


What would you charge to be my Doula?

I will not charge anything to talk with you in the first place.
After that we will agree what fee is appropriate to the kind of support you need and can afford. It may be that you pay me a small monthly fee if you want support over several months, it may be that an hourly rate (around £25) is more appropriate, which would vary depending on the type of support you want from me. We can discuss this when we meet.


I do not have a terminal condition but would like to find out more about Doulas and End of Life support

I am more than happy to talk to you at any time about End of Life Doulas and the support we provide. Or if you are considering training as a Doula you can ring me, or the charity Living Well Dying Well, to find out more.


Find out more about supporting you at the end of your life. Call me – Nett Furley – 07771 595626.

Are End of Life Doulas qualified?

Living Well Dying Well is a not-for-profit organisation supporting people at end of life (and to whom I provide business advice and mentoring). Doulas are registered with them and will have been through intensive training resulting in a Diploma. This Certified training provides participants with the ability to:
• build understanding of the process of dying
• develop confidence and skills in pre-death, at death and post-death support
• know about rites of passage, rituals and practices in the principal faith groups
• understand ethical and legal requirements
• develop communication and advocacy skills
• facilitate and empower the social network of the family to contribute appropriate support
• inform and educate people to understand that death and dying are a natural and normal part of our life cycle.

During and following training, End of Life Doulas gain experience of supporting people who are approaching the end of their life.