Dr Helen Findlay
Author, The Findlay Report
The ‘Fighting For Life’ play is based on the real lives and experiences of Helen’s parents and their family in trying to get appropriate care and support for both parents towards the end of their lives. Her mother lived with dementia for 10 years and her father cared for her at their home for around 8 years before he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease aged 85 and died 7 weeks later. After her father’s death in hospital, Helen co-authored a family case study called ‘The Findlay Report’ covering a four-month period towards the end of her father’s life that highlights their experiences and recommendations on how things could have been better handled. This report has been used as a campaign tool by family members and provided inspiration for the writing of the play (a copy of the report and story of how it came to be written can be found on the play website: www.fightingforlife.org.uk) Helen’s working career has been spent in communications at senior levels within the business, industry, public and charitable sectors and consultancy. Following the experience with her father and mother, she moved into palliative care research and is an active voluntary member of PPI groups at Marie Curie; Cicely Saunders Institute (King’s College); Hospice UK and for 10 years with the National Council for Palliative Care and has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars and training events. She is also a PPI member of the NIHR Hospice Consortium Partnership and on the PPI steering group for the Embed-Care Dementia research project. Helen holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in politics and was awarded a PhD in 2018 (Brunel University) for her thesis exploring perspectives on service user involvement in palliative care and potential pressures that could influence the way such care is provided in the future.