Hospice UK’s annual national conference is a little less than two months away with the bold theme “Dying for Change”. Here Communications Officer Alexandrina Nakanwagi outlines 10 reasons to attend this dynamic event at the ACC in Liverpool from November 20 – 22.
1.Take stock of how far we’ve come
This flagship conference is an opportunity for all of us working in palliative and end of life care to reflect on the sector. This year we will be taking a closer look at how we are delivering care, learning from counterparts who are doing things differently and understanding the challenges we are facing. This will set the stage for devising a bold new strategy to adapt to the ever-changing and complex needs of a growing and ageing population.
2. Influence the future of palliative care
The theme of this year’s conference is Evolution and Revolution in Palliative Care. While we are aware that revolutionary change is needed in the way society approaches death and dying, we also know genuinely revolutionary change is difficult to achieve amidst the daily pressures and constraints of maintaining and extending our services.
Because we need radically new ways of meeting the challenge to provide effective, meaningful and compassionate care at scale, we are inviting conference delegates to join us in dedicated, highly participatory “Revolutionary Workshops” on November 20. These workshops will explore how a ‘prototyping’ approach to designing new services can help us to manage risk while unlocking new ideas and creativity. You will be developing the insights and interventions that create radical solutions for the future.
3.Adapt to changing times
Hospices all over the UK are facing tough times with a difficult fundraising environment, increased demand and rising costs to deliver quality, individualised holistic care for people at the end of their lives.
The conference programme has tailored sessions specifically addressing these challenges. There will be sessions that look at developing and equipping your workforce for the future, as well as workforce modelling and scenario planning. We also have sessions that will look at cultural change, getting started with large scale change, strategic alliances and resilience in fundraising.
4.An amazing line-up of speakers
This year’s line-up of speakers is very impressive. We feature speakers from the public sector, the private and the non-profit sectors, with each offering a unique perspective to better understand the changing landscape of hospice care. You can look forward to hearing from people like Mark Taubert, palliative care doctor; Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England; Mark Britnell, Chairman and Partner, Healthcare, Government & Infrastructure at KPMG; Lucas Moran from the Aging Research Centre of the Swedish Karolinska Institutet and Dr Margaret Hefferman.
We are collating speakers and content for the conference that will be relevant to delegates whether you work in the clinical, fundraising, communications or operations aspect of hospice care.
5.Add to your Knowledge and Research bank
Our Call for Papers circulated earlier this year generated a record number of abstracts submitted. All six Conference Papers sessions have now been populated with selected abstracts that cover a wide range of topics including:
- Delivering care to community groups
- Informing service development
- Symptom management and treatment
- Rehabilitation and addressing unmet need
- Workforce support and development
- Community engagement and collaboration
In addition, there will be poster presentations on display allowing you to interact with the authors and ask them about their work. The papers selected for both poster and panel presentations will be relevant to delegates whether you work in clinical, fundraising or operations. To have a closer look at what to expect from each of these Conference Papers sessions, you can download the programme.
6.Mingle with like-minded people
We are gathering together everyone involved in leading hospice, palliative and end of life care for adults, children and young people; from clinicians to CEOs, patient advocates to volunteers, and fundraisers to communicators. Each person, while having unique experiences, will be at the conference because they want to see and contribute to the future of hospice and palliative care. It’s exciting to see what so many people with a shared goal can achieve, and we would like you to be a part of this movement in November.
7.Showcase your work
If you are looking to gain new customers or clients, make new and meaningful long-term business contacts, strengthen your current relationships or find out what your customers want or need, then this conference is for you! We are offering sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that will allow you to network with current and potential clients in a more relaxed manner. The programme is organised in such a way that there is time each day to enable delegates to view the exhibitions, and make lasting connections.
8.The awards ceremony
The Hospice UK Awards, sponsored by the National Garden Scheme, are an opportunity for us to recognise those who are doing exceptional work within the sector. This year, we received over 100 submissions for 10 award categories and are astounded by the amazing things that hospices are doing within their local communities. We cannot wait to share their amazing work with you at the awards ceremony on November 21.
9.Network, partner and collaborate
This conference offers all delegates a chance to network, partner and collaborate across fields and communities of practice. You will be able to share with and learn from one another and build strategic and lasting alliances in our collective quest to bring quality hospice care to everyone who needs it in the UK.
10.Let your hair down a little
Though focused on devising a bold new strategy that will enable us rise to the challenges that we face in the hospice sector, this conference is also fun and engaging. We are putting together a dinner for all delegates on November 21 that will coincide with the Awards Ceremony. We want to you to celebrate your wins at this dinner, relax and get to know your fellow delegates. There’ll be music, good food and drink, and great company – all the makings of a great night at the conference. We hope you can join us!