Many dying people are missing out on hospice care

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, and Education.

In May, Hospice Awareness Week and Hospice New Zealand launched a campaign to help raise awareness about the value of hospice care.

Hospice New Zealand Chief Executive, Wayne Naylor says there continues to be misunderstanding and a lack of awareness in our communities of what hospice care includes, where it happens, and the benefits of receiving care early.

“Around a third of the people who die in New Zealand receive hospice care, but many people continue to miss out on the palliative care hospices provide.”

“Last year around 90% of people who died (34,000) had a foreseeable death from a known illness where palliative care could have been of benefit. They miss out because of access issues caused by funding and workforce challenges that mean hospices are unable to reach everyone in need, as well as the fear and misunderstanding of what hospice care is and who can benefit.”

The digital campaign, which shares real life stories of patients and whānau-family members, reveals the breadth and value of hospice care that is so precious and full of magical moments.

The stories aim to dispel a some of the myths about hospice care, like the notion it is only available in the last days of someone’s life.

“If we are involved earlier in someone’s illness, we can support people better to achieve what they want to achieve with their remaining life.  We are actually about life, not just death,” says Mr Naylor.

“The earlier people access hospice the better.  Whether that’s weeks, months or even years before death, getting the benefits of the wrap-around physical, social, spiritual and emotional support means patients get to live fully until they die.”

Mr Naylor said he hoped that this campaign motivated more New Zealanders to support hospice.

“We rely on the generosity of our communities to deliver our life changing services.  We couldn’t do it without their support.”

“Hospice exists to ensure people receive the care and understanding they deserve, when they are dying, and to provide ongoing support to their whānau-family in bereavement.”



Hospice Awareness Week ran from 13-19 May 2024  

To see the videos and great soundbites from patients and carers, visit


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