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Prestigious Churchill Fellowship awarded to hospice day services lead

09 March 2018

Kathy Birch, Programme Lead for Day Services at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

She has received the award for her project ‘Extending the scope and reach of palliative day services’ in the Health and Wellbeing category.

Kathy joined Princess Alice Hospice in 2001, initially as a physiotherapist followed by therapy team lead. In 2009 she became the Therapies and Day Services Manager while also continuing her work in physiotherapy, and in 2017 she became Programme Lead, supporting the strategic development of palliative day services at the hospice, and implementing new programmes for people affected by a life-limiting condition.

She is one of 150 candidates chosen from approximately 1,000 applicants. The Fellowships are awarded to people from all walks of life, researching topics across a broad range of sectors including housing, nursing, science and education This year’s Fellows will travel to a total of 48 countries across six continents to explore global best practice, gain knowledge and experience, and bring back fresh ideas to benefit others.

Now a life-long Churchill Fellow, Kathy will travel to Singapore where she will look at their palliative day care provision, and will visit health care professionals in Australia before travelling on to New Zealand.

“I feel very honoured to have been given this unique and once in a lifetime opportunity. I know that different approaches to palliative care have been developed and adopted overseas and I am keen to learn and to explore new ways of supporting and reaching out to more people through day and outpatient services.”

“This trip will also give me the chance to establish new professional connections. I want to explore how other services support minority and ‘hard to reach’ groups, how informal caregivers are trained to look after their loved ones and see how digital technology is starting to be used to reach more people. I am sure I will pick up lots of new ideas which I will share with my colleagues, both locally and nationally, when I return.”

Chief Executive at the Hospice, Nicki Shaw said:

“We are all incredibly proud of Kathy’s achievement. We know that in the coming years we will see enormous pressure put on the provision of end of life care and support for families and carers. Kathy’s learning will be invaluable in helping us shape our future services to make our care go further.”

“We wish Kathy the best of luck in her travels. Not only is she an inspiring ambassador for the hospice, she will also prove to be an excellent ambassador for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.”

For more information visit Princess Alice Hospice

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