A new year brings exciting challenges for hospice and palliative care

Categories: In The Media.

Responding to the Commission

Having brought readers comprehensive coverage of the “monumental” events of 2013, we consider what is to come over the next days, weeks and months as hospices and palliative care organisations prepare to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.

The Commission into the Future of Hospice Care published its final recommendations at the Help the Hospices annual conference in Bournemouth last year, following an in-depth two-year research process.

Established to help hospices look ahead and anticipate the changing and growing needs of the communities they serve, the Commission concluded with some key recommendations:

New models: hospices will need to develop new models of care and adapt existing services to meet increasing and changing demands for their services.

Collaboration: hospices will need to work more closely with other organisations including the NHS, local authorities, care homes and voluntary sector organisations. Collaboration between hospices will also be important to maximise resources and increase efficiency.

Championing change: hospices need to become “champions of change” for care in their local communities and not just service providers. They should seek to actively influence health and social care service delivery in their local communities and share their expertise more widely with other organisations, including hospitals.

Reshaping the workforce: hospices will need to reshape and rejuvenate their workforces to help future challenges, including building new skills and expanding the role of volunteers.

Widening access: there is public demand for hospices to support more people with different conditions beyond cancer, including the “frail elderly” and people with dementia, by working in partnership with other organisations.

In response to these findings, ehospice looks forward to bringing you examples of innovative practice, successful collaborations, forward-thinking research, interviews with industry experts and technological breakthroughs to improve patient care.

ehospice is keen to travel the country to profile these hospices and share good practice. If you’ve got a story to tell, please get in touch with the team.


There are many important events in the 2014 hospice and palliative care calendar which ehospice will endeavour to report directly from, giving readers a real insight of the emerging themes and content as well as exclusive interviews with speakers and delegates.

Some key events to look out for in 2014:

  • The National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) are holding a conference on 10 February 2014 entitled A good death in hospital: compassionate care for all. The event aims to support and empower delegates by focusing on positive initiatives to improve end of life care in acute hospitals. Visit the NCPC website to register.
  • 25 February 2014 will also see experts and delegates gather at the ICO conference centre in London to discuss: Improving end of life care: Beyond the Liverpool Care Pathway. A wealth of high-profile speakers will consider improving the quality of end of life care in light of the review into the Liverpool Care Pathway. Book online to secure your place.
  • The 10th Palliative Care Congress will be held in Harrogate, Yorkshire from 12-14 March 2014. Registration for the two-day event is now open, with standard registration closing on Tuesday 4 March at 5pm.
  • From 12-18 May 2014, Dying Matters will undertake their annual Awareness Week in a bid to de-mystify dying and encourage the general public to talk more openly about their wishes at the end of life. The theme for this year is: ‘You only die once’. Find out how to get involved on the Dying Matters website.
  • Hospice Care Week will also return after a well-supported event in 2013 saw hospices engage staff, supporters and politicians in weird and wacky activities to raise awareness about the growing need for hospice care. Hospice Care Week 2014 will run from Monday 6 October to Sunday 12 October. The week coincides with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, which takes place this year on Saturday 11 October 2014.
  • Following the success of the Help the Hospices conference in October last year, the national hospice charity will again host the event in the autumn of 2014. Watch this space for more details.

You can find a full list of events on the ehospice events page.

Dementia as a key priority

Dementia was a hot-topic in the sector throughout 2013 and entered into the media spotlight at the end of the year as the G8 Dementia Summit in London agreed a package of measures to support people with dementia, including identifying a cure or a disease-modifying therapy by 2025.

The UK’s leading hospice charity, Help the Hospices, has commenced its own dementia project to help people living with the condition. The project aims to support hospices that are interested in extending their care to people with advanced dementia, and also to their families and carers.

ehospice will be keeping you up-to-date with this project along with other initiatives making the headlines, as well as continuing to bring you the daily news from the sector as it happens.

Policy updates

2013 was an active year for palliative care policy and we are set for more of the same in 2014 says Robert Melnitschuk, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Help the Hospices.

In particular, we will be keeping abreast of the latest developments with the Care Bill, which was transitioned over to the House of Commons in late 2013.

The Care and Support Alliance – a coalition of 75 organisations and charities – backs the government’s Care Bill, but warns that, in its current form, the Bill will not address the current care crisis.

Secondly, we will be following the progress of the Palliative Care Funding Programme.

Robert says that the data collection process is due to finish in March 2014 and there will be analysis and an announcement to follow.

This new funding system for hospice and palliative care, which the Coalition committed to in its programme for government, will look to address the “stunning lack of good data surrounding costs for palliative care in England.”

Get involved in 2014

You can get involved in our news coverage and make your hospice top of the agenda by getting in touch.

If you have made a resolution to get writing in 2014, we welcome submissions from professionals, volunteers and supporters from within the field. Contact one of the team to find out how you could see your work published on ehospice.

Sign up to ehospice to receive daily alerts about what’s in the news, both in the UK and across the world. And finally, share the news via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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