2019: A year in review

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

It’s been another busy year in the hospice sector. We take a look at the highlights of the last 12 months.   

Award-winning services

Six hospices were rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridgeshire, Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire, St Barnabas in Lincolnshire, St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon and Royal Trinity Hospice in south west London all received the highest possible rating from the independent regulator. 

Marie Curie’s Nursing and Domiciliary Care Service in the North East, a service that provides end of life care to people in their own homes also received the CQC’s top rating, along with Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for their end of life care provision.

A number of MBEs were given to people in recognition of their services to palliative and hospice care in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, read about them here. Additionally

Jacci Woodcock, a terminally-ill woman who receives care from Treetops Hospice Care in Derbyshire was presented with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to employment protection for terminally ill workers. 

Pioneering initiatives 

Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham became the UK’s first homeless-friendly hospice after partnering with the Homeless-Friendly charity, with a pledge to care for those experiencing homelessness all over Greater Manchester and beyond. Part of this work is to track down relatives of homeless people in their care.

In September Hospice UK launched Compassionate Employers, a programme designed to help employers support staff dealing with terminal illnesses and bereavement. Hospice UK’s Chief Clinical Officer Carole Walford wrote this article explaining why it is vital both for people’s wellbeing and for creating a supportive environment. 

In October Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge was nominated for a Guardian Public Service Award for its work improving access to end of life care for the most vulnerable members of the population. Diversity and Inclusion Lead Gemma Allen wrote a piece for ehospice about their initiatives to empower people whose voices have traditionally not been heard, including those with learning disabilities and the homeless.

Raising awareness

Around 400 events took place in May as part of this year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week under the theme ‘Are we ready?’ including death cafes, competitions, exhibitions and theatre, with the aim of encouraging people to talk about their plans for the end of life.

‘This is what it takes’ was the theme of this year’s Hospice Care Week campaign in October. Hospices from all over the UK shared statistics on social media, posters, leaflets and even petrol pumps to highlight that while hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, it requires many skills, people and resources. Read our round-up of how hospices embraced the theme here.

Hospice UK’s annual national conference returned to the ACC Liverpool with the theme ‘Dying for Change’. The three-day event included sessions on reputation and trust, solving the workforce crisis, data and drugs, and “revolution” workshops to plan radical new approaches to end of life care.

In December the first National Grief Awareness Week launched. Spearheaded by The Good Grief Trust, the aim of the week is to normalise grief and encourage people to talk about this difficult subject.

A year of fundraising

The Virgin London Marathon in April saw 180 runners take part for Hospice UK raising £368,700. There was no shortage of colourful costumes sported by runners who were fundraising for individual hospices, including Anthony Davies who ran for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices dressed as the robot from the Beastie Boys music video ‘Intergalactic’.

Hospice UK celebrated its 35th anniversary in May with a gala dinner attended by TV presenter Gloria Hunniford, actress Richendra Carey, and former Conservative Party leader and Hospice UK Vice President the Rt. Hon Lord Howard of Lympne with his wife Lady Sandra Howard. Taking place at The Savoy in London, the three-course meal with live entertainment was followed by a silent auction and raised £85k.

In August the government pledged extra funding worth £25 million for adult and children’s hospices in England, with the Prime Minister announcing this was intended to “alleviate the everyday pressures faced on the frontline, helping to ensure they have the resources they need, when they need them.”.

Hospice UK hosted a Fashion Lunch in September attended by numerous celebrities including Lady Shakira Caine, lawyer Nancy Dell’Olio and founder of Pineapple Dance Studios Debbie Moore OBE. The lunch and fashion show at Mosimann’s Club in London raised £16k for the charity.

The following month the charity was successfully chosen as Deutsche Bank’s 2020-21 charity of the year. The partnership will officially launch at the beginning of January 2020, and key aims will include getting people to talk more about death, dying and bereavement and planning ahead through the Dying Matters campaign, and its revolution strand of work aiming to transform how people are cared for people in the last decade of life.

Actors Jim Broadbent, Alison Steadman OBE and Fiona Dolman were among the celebrity readers at Hospice UK’s annual Christmas Carol service at St Luke’s Church in Chelsea, London which raised over £16k.

At local level, a fundraising campaign has successfully put on hold Acorns Children’s Hospice proposal to close. Demonstrating the power of community, the drive reached an impressive £450,000 in four months thanks to individual donations and celebrities including Jasper Carrot and Dame Julie Walters joining the cause.

ehospice is on holiday until January 6.

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