A monumental year for hospice and palliative care

Categories: In The Media.

From the phasing out of the Liverpool Care Pathway, to the final recommendations of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, ehospice has covered all the major talking points and issues in 2013, as well as highlighting the innovation and good practice within the sector. We have also been present at several of the major events that took place, keeping our readers up to date on all the major developments and announcements.

Major talking points in healthcare

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) has dominated the national news, and in July it was announced that it would be replaced with individual end of life care plans. ehospice has been on top of this issue throughout the year, not only keeping our readers up to date on the latest developments, but also providing a hospice and palliative care perspective with reaction from leading organisations and individuals in the sector.

Just earlier this month, our reporter Rosie Brown reported from an All-party Parliamentary Health Group meeting to discuss how a new programme of palliative care can be developed post LCP.

Just as big an issue this year was the Francis Inquiry into the failings at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, whose findings have huge implications for the entire healthcare sector. Again, we kept our readers abreast of all the latest developments and reaction from the sector, and ran in-depth articles on the final recommendations  and the government’s response to these.

Commission into the Future of Hospice Care

Following two years of work, the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care published its final recommendations in October, “the single most important document the movement has ever produced” according to Help the Hospices Chief Executive David Praill. Set up with experts within and outside the sector to provide hospices with information and options to prepare for the future, the Commission said that hospices must adapt and diversify to face future opportunities and challenges.

As well as covering all the reports and news coming out of the Commission throughout the year, we also caught up with its Chair, Dame Clare Tickell, and Vice Chair, Dame Barbara Monroe, for exclusive interviews about the recommendations; you can view these video interviews on our YouTube channel.

Policy developments

Following lobbying by several organisations including Help the Hospices, the government announced in October that access to social care will be fast-tracked for people who are terminally ill. Responding to this announcement on ehospice, Robert Melnitschuk, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Help the Hospices, said “Fast-tracking access to social care will help to make choice over where they are cared for a reality for terminally people, in turn helping to reduce the number of inappropriate and costly hospital admissions.”

We have also reported extensively on developments around the new lobbying bill as well as other key issues for the sector including palliative care funding.

Covering major events

From Help the Hospices and Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care national conferences to all three of the political party conferences, ehospice has brought our readers news and analysis from the major events in 2013, as well as offering extensive coverage of Hospice Care Week.

Innovation and good practice

Alongside our extensive news coverage, we have also published many articles showcasing the innovation in hospice and palliative care. From new fundraising initiatives to revolutionary patient feedback projects and the use of new technology, ehospice has built up a vast library of articles to help share knowledge and good practice within the sector.

Not only that, we have also celebrated the various awards and the recognition gained by individuals and organisations in the sector, of which there have been many (a testament to the talent and dedication shown each and every day in hospice and palliative care services up and down the country).

Remembering those lost to us

As our review of 2013 comes to an end, it is only fitting that we remember those in the sector who sadly died this year.

In April, we paid tribute to the founder of Help the Hospices, Anne, Duchess of Norfolk, who died peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Paying tribute to her, David Praill, Chief Executive of Help the Hospices, commented: “Anne was a passionate and exceptionally dedicated champion of the hospice movement throughout her life. She supported hospices in so many different ways, from her tireless fundraising to her considerable efforts to make more people aware of the valuable contribution of hospices to society.”

We also remembered Professor Geoffrey Hanks who died in June. Professor Hanks was a pioneer of palliative care who did much to further the research base in the specialty, especially in the area of pain control.

And in August Dame Barbara Monroe, CEO of St Chrstopher’s Hospice, wrote a tribute to her friend and colleague, Frances Kraus, who died of pancreatic cancer in July. Frances was the project lead on the St Christopher’s Candle children’s bereavement project and was responsible for the development of the undergraduate and post graduate childhood bereavement courses run by St Christopher’s in partnership with Help the Hospices.

Looking forward to 2014

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage this year and we look forward to bringing you all the breaking news in 2014, which is set to be a challenging and pivotal year for the hospice and palliative care sector. We will be taking a break over Christmas but will be back with a look ahead to 2014 on 2 January, and will then be back in full swing on 6 January.

Happy Christmas and thank you for all your support this year!

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