The theme this year is ‘Connecting Care’, with the focus on the special role hospices play in connecting with individuals and families, connecting with local communities and connecting people with each other.
Several hospices have already announced how they will be marking the week: St Rocco’s Hospice in Warrington will be live tweeting a nurse’s shift on the inpatient unit today, as well as a session from one of the charity’s shops on Wednesday afternoon, while Chichester-based St Wilfrid’s Hospice has appointed a new team of ambassadors to spread the word about the care the hospice provides.
More than 60 hospices will also be screening ‘Seven Songs for a Long Life’, a documentary film by Amy Hardie featuring six patients from Strathcarron Hospice in Falkirk coming to terms with a terminal diagnosis through singing.
Hospice UK is encouraging supporters to join the Thunderclap – a mass-message sent out via social media – and to add the Hospice Care Week Twibbon to their social media profile pictures. Twitter and Facebook users can also join the conversation using #HospiceCareWeek.
Last year 155 hospices throughout the country got involved and the Thunderclap, which was used for the first time in 2014, reached over 150,000 people.
The week is timed to coincide with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on Saturday, whose theme will be ‘Hidden Lives / Hidden Patients’. The day seeks to recognise patients who often struggle to access palliative care including children, LGBT individuals, HIV prisoners, soldiers and those living in rural settings.