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Developing a regional voice for hospices

Author: Sue Newton
27 November 2017

Sue Newton, Programme Manager for Commissioning & Strategic Partnerships at Hospice UK, writes about bringing hospices together in the West Midlands.

Hospice UK has, as part of our new Commissioning and Strategic Partnerships Programme, helped organise an event in the West Midlands, bringing nine hospices together with key strategic leaders and influencers to look at opportunities for:

  • New ways of working
  • Developing new strategic and/or operational partnerships
  • Broadening the reach of hospice services into local communities
  • Increasing access to quality end of life care
  • Developing a regional voice for hospices

The event, which took place in September, was the brainchild of Stevan Jackson, CEO of Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge and was originally conceived to inform local hospices about health and social care priorities, challenges and structures across the region, and provide advice about how to engage with them. The programme for the day was developed in partnership, not only with Mary Stevens Hospice, but with Social Enterprise UK who provided invaluable local contacts.

Hospice representatives who attended heard throughout a busy morning from local leaders within the recently formed West Midlands Combined Authority, the Birmingham City Council commissioning team, Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group, and the West Midlands Clinical Networks and Clinical Senate – part of NHS England. 

This was followed by an afternoon of presentations from a range of provider organisations who shared with hospice representatives details of how partnership working had enabled them to continue meeting local challenges in increasingly complex commissioning environments, and to engage with new and emerging health structures in order to both increase their influence and broaden their reach into local communities. 

During a closing discussion hospice representatives reflected upon how useful it had been to:

  • learn more about the enormous challenges within the broader health and social care environment where resources are increasingly stretched and demand is continuing to grow
  • receive a clear steer on the direction of travel, the local priorities and the new ways of working being proposed to meet them
  • understand some of the opportunities for partnership working within and beyond the hospice sector
  • network with key leaders and influencers   

A follow up meeting is planned. 

In addition, the West Midlands Clinical Network and Clinical Senate lead Laura Tooley, offered to support West Midlands hospices in their engagement with the six local STPs and provided details of several useful reports and toolkits which can be accessed by following the links below:

Further reports are planned so it is advisable to keep checking the sites above for new information. 

If you would like support to plan and deliver a similar event in your area, or would like to discuss doing so, please contact Sue Newton

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