This year, as part of the overarching theme: Achieving universal access to palliative care, draws attention to the many people working in hospice and palliative care all over the world. From doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains, to volunteers, unpaid carers and family members, the team surrounding the patient is at the front line of providing excellent hospice and palliative care, often working in very difficult – and sometimes even dangerous – conditions.
Internationally, there are over 400,000 palliative care staff, over 1.2 million volunteers and over 9 million people acting as family carers. That means that worldwide, over 10.5 million people are involved with delivering hospice and palliative care!
World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is organised by a committee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, a network of hospice and palliative care national and regional organisations that support the development of hospice and palliative care worldwide. 11 October 2014 is all about thanking those who dedicate their time to hospice and palliative care.
The aims of the day are:
- To increase the availability of hospice and palliative care throughout the world by creating opportunities to speak out about the issues
- To raise awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical and spiritual – of people living with a life limiting illness and their families
- To raise funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services around the world.
You may receive palliative care in a variety of settings and from a variety of professionals. An interdisciplinary team is comprised of physicians, nurses, carers, personal support workers, social workers, volunteers, spiritual care professionals and many more.
Internationally, there is a lack of trained hospice and palliative care professionals. We are currently only meeting 10% of the international demand for palliative care.
Professional challenges faced at the international level include: access to training and professional development, recognition of palliative care as a medical sub-specialty, and the challenge of staffing palliative care positions. There are also no international standards for volunteer training in palliative care.
This year, get on board to support World Hospice and Palliative Care Day activities near you. Contact your local hospice, or national palliative care association to find out what is going on, or visit the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day website.
Follow the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Twitter account @WorldHospiceDay and join in the conversations using the hashtag #whpcday