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Hidden Lives / Hidden Patients: theme announced for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

15 June 2015

The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) have announced the theme for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day: ‘Hidden Lives / Hidden Patients.’

This year's theme will focus on the patients living in unique conditions who often struggle with access to palliative care including children, LGBT individuals, people living with HIV, prisoners, soldiers and those living in rural settings.

In palliative care, no one should be invisible. There are ‘hidden patients’ with ‘hidden lives’ for whom the need for palliative care is not recognised. 

Palliative care should be available for all with life-limiting illnesses, regardless of age, race, disease, gender, sexuality, or where they live. By creating opportunities to speak out about the issues, the WHPCA hope to increase the availability of hospice and palliative care for adults and children throughout the world.

The aim of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is to raise awareness and understanding of the needs – medical, social, practical and spiritual – of people living with a life limiting illness and their families. The Day provides an opportunity for local and national hospice and palliative care organisations to raise funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services.

Liz Gwyther, Chair of the WHPCA, said: “The Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life estimates that worldwide over 40 million people would benefit from palliative care (20 million of these being at the end of life). However, less than 10% of the need for palliative care is currently being met. 

“This year’s campaign: ‘Hidden Lives / Hidden Patients’ highlights groups that have additional barriers to accessing palliative care.
“We encourage everyone involved in hospice and palliative care to use World Hospice and Palliative Care Day materials to improve awareness of the need for palliative care, to consider the ‘hidden patients’ and how to reach out to them and help them access the care they need.” 

What can you do to get involved?
There are many things you can do during and in the days leading up to World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Visit the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance website to find out how you can get involved and to find promotional materials to use to plan your own events at   

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