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Panel discussion addresses future of hospice care

05 April 2018

The future of hospice care, and its place in the bigger health and social care landscape was the hot topic debated at an event hosted by St Ann’s Hospice in Greater Manchester.

A panel of experts - which included Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice, Dr Eamonn O’Neal, its Chair Professor Jackie Oldham, the Executive Lead for Quality from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Dr Richard Preece, and Dr David Waterman Palliative and End of Life Care Lead for the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network – convened at an event in Manchester City Centre, held to celebrate nurses from St Ann’s graduating from the hospice’s innovative new Clinical Leadership in Action development programme.

Speaking at the event, Eamonn O’Neal said:

“With the devolution of healthcare budgets, comes a very complex landscape.  We need to show that hospices are at the cutting edge of delivering exceptional care, and if we want to continue to be relevant, to continue to ensure our organisations are fit for future generations, then we need to work together, across our sector, but also beyond that too.”

Dr Richard Preece commented: 

“Hospices working together is certainly something we welcome, but it is also really important that we are not asking hospices to do everything. We need to make sure that their unique contribution is optimised, so we can make the most of those complex areas where the unique skillset of hospices comes into play.”

Topics put to the panel also included the role of hospices in their local communities, and O’Neal said: 

“Every hospice has its own unique demographic – the patients are different, the families and their needs are different, and the fundraising opportunities are different too.  We need to keep our unique personalities, but ensure we are also working more smartly together so we can be more strategic in our approach.”

Preece added:

“It is important that we remember one size does not always fit all.  We need consistency in care provision, but that does not mean that we should not adapt to make sure it remains really relevant in the local communities as well.  There is an inevitability that something which is right in one setting is not quite right in another, and we need to hold onto that as well.”

Dr David Waterman also commented that when hospices deliver services, they should be focussed on the outcome to ensure that relevance prevails.  He said:

“How we deliver the outcome may be different in different localities, but the benefit and outcome for patients should be the same.

“Hospices remain focussed on the individual, what they need, and what is most important to them.  That taps into care planning and future care planning, but it also means we actually deliver what people want, in the way they want it, rather than using resources for things they do not want.”

Thirteen nurses from St Ann’s also graduated from the Clinical Leadership in Action programme at the event – a twelve month leadership programme aimed at providing effective and sustainable nursing leadership.  The programme was funded by the Burdett Nursing Trust.

The importance of strong hospice leadership was a key focus on the day, with St Ann’s Chair Jackie Oldham, commenting:

 “Leadership skills are incredibly important, and so is communicating well and understanding each other’s challenges and opportunities.  The benefits if you get that right stretch far beyond the walls of an individual organisation.”

The projects of each of the graduates of the programme were also on display at the event, which took place in Manchester City Centre and was hosted by BBC North West Tonight presenter Roger Johnson.

For more information visit St Ann’s Hospice

For more information on the Clinical Leadership in Action programme please contact Rachel McMillan or Gill Turnpenney from St Ann’s.

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