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The NHS and Peace Hospice Care

Today, 5th July 2022, the NHS marks 74 years of service.  On this significant date, Jackie Tritton, Peace Hospice Care’s Chief Executive writes about the connection between Peace Hospice Care and the NHS.

“As individuals, we are very grateful to have a national health service that is available for everyone and free at the point of use. As an organisation, we are thankful to the NHS for the support we receive which makes such a difference to our work.

Peace Hospice Care has always been a key player in our local NHS system – working with hospitals, community teams, GPs and as part of wider community planning. We understand that we must work in collaboration with other local healthcare providers in order to provide the best care and reach more people. From July, the way the NHS is organised is changing, with the launch of Integrated Care Boards. We welcome this change which will see greater integration of health and care services, reduce inequalities and providing a greater voice for the charity sector – and we look forward to our continuing work together.

Our connection to other local healthcare services sees the NHS star as a key part of most of our patients’ journeys. Patients may reach us and our services from their GPs or local hospitals – and we, as experts in palliative care, support the work of the NHS in playing a vital role in providing palliative and end-of-life care for local people.

Our link with the NHS is also strong due to the career paths of many of our staff members who have come from NHS backgrounds – bringing the best of their practices and expertise to the Hospice.

We are a charity and rely on fundraising to ensure we are able to provide our outstanding care for our community. However, we also receive financial support from the NHS – 38p in every pound of income we receive comes from the NHS. During the pandemic, we were also fortunate to have received additional NHS funding as we were able to support the the Health Service to provide additional capacity to support patients to be discharged earlier and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions. Support like this, at a time where all charities were facing difficulties, made a huge difference.

The support we receive from the NHS isn’t just financial. Over the last few months when, in line with the trend across all healthcare providers, we faced struggles with recruiting nurses, West Herts Hospitals Trust supported and promoted our clinical vacancies with rotational work, international nurse sponsorship which was vital to ensure we were able to re-open our Inpatient Unit and operate all of our beds..

On this significant anniversary, I’d like to share my thanks once again to the NHS and look forward to building on the strong relationship we as an organisation share with the NHS.