It’s more than rainbows in receptions

Categories: Care and Research.

The Marie Curie Research Impact Fund has awarded the Mary Stevens Hospice funding to improve equity in palliative care for LGBTQ+ people.

It is recognised that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other gender diverse (LGBTQ+) people experience inequity in access to healthcare due to discrimination, assumptions made by healthcare professionals and LGBTQ+ people anticipating discriminatory behaviour. Therefore, early and effective advance care planning discussion is unlikely to happen for many people from the LGBTQ+ community.

The Marie Curie Research Impact Fund will be used to develop a co-production advisory group, facilitation of No Barriers Here advance care planning workshops and explore the experiences of death, dying and bereavement for LGBTQ+ people. It is a methodology previously developed and used with marginalised populations and can help dismantle barriers, enable advance care planning and increase knowledge and awareness for health care professionals.

Gemma Allen, Palliative Care Inclusion and Community Partnerships Lead at The Mary Stevens Hospice, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Marie Curie Research Impact Fund. Funding projects that are focussed on equity informed palliative care is vital to help us better understand and provide the best possible palliative and end of life care to people in our community.”

This project aims to actively engage and understand the barriers and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in accessing palliative and end of life care, explore how care could be improved and to support members of the community to understand their own end of life and wider care needs better.

In the current political and social climate, LGBTQ+ people’s rights and liberties have been under attack. It is important that healthcare providers offer safe and competent care, beyond displaying rainbows and attending Pride. Proper understanding of the needs, experiences and hopes of LGBTQ+ people and communities is needed, and the No Barriers Here model provides an approach that is grounded in coproduction, telling stories and sharing experiences and improving care through supporting healthcare professionals listen more closely to previously dismissed or silenced voices.



Mary Stevens Hospice is a charity offering high quality, specialist hospice care for adults living with life-shortening illnesses and dedicated support for their families and carers. Based in Stourbridge, we serve people who live in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, the Black Country and surrounding areas.

The hospice provides a safe, caring and compassionate environment where all staff are highly-skilled and have time to listen and advise. It is their role to create personalised holistic programmes of care, that encompass emotional and practical support, to help reduce symptoms of illness and side effects of treatment. Specialist services are provided at our recently refurbished In-Patient Unit and our Day Therapies Clinic. We also offer care at home where appropriate.

Mary Stevens Hospice care is provided free of charge to all adults who need our support. Our trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters from a compassionate community work together to raise the funds that pay for over 80% of our annual running costs.

Without their efforts we would not be able to deliver our badly needed services and ensure that:

  • The care that we provide is free
  • The care that we provide is for local people
  • The care that we provide relieves pain and suffering
  • The care that we provide for 4 out 5 of our patients is paid for by money we have raised




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