Help us Open Up Hospice Care

We’re joining forces with St Barnabas House and other hospices across the UK to support a new campaign aimed at widening access to the vital support they provide for people with life-limiting conditions and those who care for them.

The Open Up Hospice Care campaign – which launches today (4 March) and is led by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK- highlights how hospice care is available beyond hospice in-patient units, including in people’s homes.

One in four people in the UK miss out on the care they need according to earlier research by the national charity – due to a range of reasons including: late or a lack of referrals to hospice services and low levels of awareness about hospice care and where and when this support is available.

Today Hospice UK publishes the findings of a new survey by ComRes which found that seven in ten UK adults (72 per cent) say that support from a local hospice would make them feel more confident in supporting a loved one with a terminal condition at home.

And more than eight in ten (82 per cent) UK adults surveyed say the role of hospices will become more important in the next decade. Eight in ten (83%) of those who think this, say it is due to the growing care needs of the UK’s ageing population.

The ComRes survey also showed that half of UK adults surveyed (48%) are aware that hospices receive the majority of their funding from fundraising and donations (e.g. via charity shops, communities, lotteries). Nearly a fifth of those surveyed (17%) incorrectly think that hospices receive the majority of their funding from the NHS.

Imelda Glackin, Chief Executive Officer at Martlets, commented “We are pleased to support this national campaign that highlights the wide range of care that hospices are able to offer patients from the moment of diagnosis.  At Martlets we know that the earlier we can reach someone the more we can help them live their lives with hope, purpose and possibility.

Increasingly our care involves supporting people to stay in their own homes. We want to help people continue doing the things they love in the time they have and feel comfortable where they choose to be. Hospice care can range from helping patients manage their symptoms so they can continue working and doing activities they enjoy, to offering welfare advice, providing physiotherapy and counselling for them and their families and providing a welcoming space to meet and receive support.”

Cathy Stone, Clinical Director at St Barnabas House said: “We are delighted to be joining up with other hospices around the country as part of Hospice UK’s national campaign to Open Up Hospice Care. Many people think that a hospice is a building where you come to die but we want to highlight the many and varied care services we provide, often away from the hospice out in our local community and people’s own homes. By offering a wide variety of care services we can reach out to patients earlier in their disease journey, give them more choice of where and how they receive care, provide more support for families and ultimately help more people.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said “For some, hospice care can seem a remote reality but we are all living longer, often with complex health conditions, and more of us will need this care in the future ourselves, or will be caring for a loved one who does.

“As our survey shows, the British public clearly values the role of hospices and recognises they will become more important in future given the seismic shift in our rapidly ageing society and with the increasing strain on the NHS. However despite this, many people find out about hospice care far too late. We want to share the benefits of hospice care more widely so that everyone is able to get this vital support and wherever they want.”