This week hospices up and down the UK have been sharing statistics on social media to highlight that while hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, it’s not cheap and takes a lot of skills, people and resources.
This is what it takes is the theme of Hospice Care Week this year, the national campaign led by Hospice UK.
With the considerable financial challenges hospices are currently facing, the theme is a harder-hitting one than usual, aiming to inform the public that hospice care is about much more than medical support and depends on many different services and the contributions of a wide range of people, such cleaners, gardeners, beauty therapists, lifeguards, cooks, shop staff and volunteers.
Throughout the week hospices have been embracing the theme with a variety of events and a lot of creativity. Here are just a few of them:
St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth have been highlighting their non-medical roles by sharing stories of volunteers and staff members including their cook and domestic assistant. They also adapted the campaign’s artwork to stick over petrol pumps at local gas stations.
Birmingham St Mary’s have produced a video that offers a look at the operations of the hospice. Tina Swani, chief executive, said: ““This Hospice Care Week, not only do we want to raise the profile of compassionate care at the end of life but we also want to give a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the people and resources that deliver it. I’m delighted that staff, volunteers and patients came together to create a video that does just that and I hope it informs people why the hospice is truly at the heart of our community.”
St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Eastbourne have distributed thousands of beer mats to surrounding bars and pubs with figures including how many inpatient beds, hospice at home visits and counselling sessions it takes each year for them to provide care to patients and their families.
St Michael’s Hospice have taken over the Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke for the entire week. Members of staff have been stationed there each day to talk to visitors about the specialist care they offer. A 22ft tall projection of an animated film highlighting their work is being shown, and they’re hosting a raffle and Moonlight Walk starting and ending at the centre.
Peace Hospice Care in Watford are hosting the Peace Pie Challenge, with a JustGiving campaign encouraging people to nominate three friends or colleagues to get “pied”.
Hospice UK held a Go Yellow day with members of staff coming into the office with yellow clothing and food, along with the now ritual ‘gunging’ of senior members of staff.
Some things we learnt about what it takes to deliver hospice care:
- 5 adrenaline challenges and one inflatable assault course where runners race for chocolate at Birmingham St Mary’s
- £15,000 a day to deliver care at St Wilfrid’s Hospice
- 13,395 hot drinks served in Arthur Rank’s Bistro
- 31.3 miles of corridors cleaned by housekeeping staff at Phyllis Tuckwell’s In-Patient Unit
- 100 miles covered by Hospice of the Valley’s physiotherapist to visit patients across Blaenau Gwent in their homes each week
- 15 litres of yellow gunge for Hospice UK’s annual dousing of staff members on Go Yellow day
- Approximately 7,238 cuddles for St Helena Hospice’s cat Paddy from patients, families, staff and volunteers
Join the conversation on social media with #WhatItTakes and #HospiceCareWeek.
Hospice Care Week runs until October 13.