‘Hospice care is…’ is the theme of this week’s annual Hospice Care Week. From ‘care and compassion’ to ‘living life to the full’, it’s been great following the hashtag on Twitter to see what #HospiceCareIs to each and every one of us.
For me, hospice care is about reaching more people, to improve the experience of living with terminal illness, through the wide range of services we provide at the hospice, in people’s own homes, at our satellite locations, and through the education we deliver to health professionals and communities. It is about helping individuals and their loved ones live better with illness, death, dying and bereavement.
For hospices in the UK to have our own awareness week is a golden opportunity not only to raise our profiles but to change perceptions of hospice care.
In order to do this, communication about what we do and can offer is so important and I think, over the last year, it’s proved that a collective voice is much stronger in getting the message across. It’s absolutely fantastic to see hospices across the UK embracing collaboration to promote what we do – from the Love your local hospice TV advert to the current The elephant in the room animation.
The more awareness we can raise the more we can reach out to those who need our help and support.
We must continue building on the success of Hospice Care Week and carry on spreading the word – from future collaborations to innovative fundraising campaigns.
In our new four-year strategy, Hospice care for all, we recognise that collaboration and partnerships are central to ensuring individuals, families and carers come first – which was emphasised at our recent strategy launch in London.
To hear chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens recognising the need to expand the provision of end of life care in people’s homes and in community locations was a massive boost.
We know that, in order to see a future where the best experience of living is available to everyone leading up to and at the end of life; we need to all keep the conversation going in both the health and care sector and in our local communities.
However we talk about it, from hashtags to official engagements, hospice care is… important. So carry on sharing the knowledge and expertise, increasing the reach of the amazing work we all do.