Fictions: Health & Care Re-imagined

Stephen Palmer

author of novels
Dec 22, 2009
A few months ago I was approached, along with two other authors, to write three short stories under the banner Fictions: Health And Care Re-Imagined.

This project, funded by the Future Care Capital charity, aims to foster discussion about the future of health care and social care in this country, with dates in mind of around 2030 - 2050, and thinking especially about the up-sides and down-sides of increasing use of technology. Edited by the indefatigable Keith Brooke, my first story Goodbye concerns the future of end-of-life care. Other opening stories are on the way, from Anne Charnock, Keith Brooke and Liz Williams. The whole project will run for twelve months, with one story being published every month. The terrific illustrations are by Vinny Chong.

Link to Opening Blog by FCCs Peter Bloomfield.
Link to my story Goodbye.

The intention of the twelve stories in this "year long thought experiment" is discussion of the issues involved. Feel free to get involved!

fcc steve.jpeg


Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2020
Oddly enough that's something I think about quite frequently. Not so much end-of-life but with a rapidly ageing population, I don't consider us to be on stable ground.

My personal realistic thing would be teaching more of the elderly to use communications technology (preferably in the form of community forums that could act as local hubs for events etc).

My personal favourite thing would be cheap(ish) retirement zones internally connected by self-driving golf carts. Ban cars altogether and you can have a cheap fleet of slower-moving (and safer) vehicles to take people around :)


None The Wiser
Jul 24, 2003
Reading Goodbye brought back some memories to me. I sat with my dad in his last moments and, despite the grief, I was glad that I’d been with him at the end. The funeral, however, was another matter. It didn’t feel to me that it meant anything. I didn’t find it any help whatsoever and was left feeling that it was more just a public spectacle that was expected of the family, simply because holding a funeral was what was always done.

It’s ironic that, in many ways, our society seeks to become more accomodating to those that are different in some way but, when it comes to death, it still seems to me to be one size fits all (more or less).

The living funeral is an idea that I like. I wouldn’t go down the VR route but simply having the chance to say goodbye to those that mattered to me would be good.

Of course, the problem with the living funeral is that you don’t get the chance if death comes unexpectedly.