Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A great year was highlighted at the Peace Hospice Annual General Meeting and a forward vision of collaborative working was announced to ensure the best care will continue to be delivered throughout 2015.

A packed audience of Healthcare professionals, local Councillors,  dignitaries, staff and Hospice supporters shared presentations from Peace Hospice Care Chief Executive, Sue Plummer, and Hospice Medical Director, Dr Anne-Louise Jennings.  High profile speakers Nigel Edwards, CEO of the Nuffield Trust and Claire Henry, CEO of the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) added stirring insights into the future of health and end of life care.

'We cannot stand alone anymore,' said Peace Hospice Care Chief Executive, Sue Plummer. 'We have an ageing population with complex end of life needs, an increased work load. We have to be realistic with what we can offer. Working together with the Hospice of St Francis, Macmillan, Herts County NHS Trust and Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group  will ensure we can strengthen and sustain existing services.'

A great but challenging year reaching more people in the community has undoubtedly been achieved in 2014 with Peace Hospice Care supporting 227 patients and their families in the Hospice Inpatient Unit, 2,255 visits to Hospice patients at home, and 2,000 visits being made to the Starlight Centre giving individuals an opportunity to seek support at an earlier stage of their illness.

A recent grant from the Cabinet Office's fund adds weight to the benefits of working together. A  joined up  bid with the Hospice of St Francis and local Trusts will see Peace Hospice Care host and deliver a programme of compassionate care in the community using a team of trained volunteers.

Claire Henry, CEO of the NCPC also drove forward the message of collaboration and a commitment of the community and organisations pulling together to offer improved end of life care that focuses on 'the person, not the document'. 'Death, dying, loss and care is everybody's responsibility,' she said.

Further discussion on the way forward for end of life care will be delivered at the next Palliative Care Conference 'Death is a community experience'  on May 11 until the 16th in Bristol.  For further information www.phpci.info/