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Greater Manchester’s hospices form partnership to influence palliative and end of life care

11 April 2018
  • Martin Foster

Hospices across Greater Manchester have formed a new partnership to help influence the future provision of specialist palliative and end of life care for local people.

The GM Hospices initiative, which is the first of its kind in the UK, sees Greater Manchester’s seven adult hospices (Bolton, Bury, Dr Kershaw’s, Springhill, St Ann’s, Wigan and Leigh and Willow Wood)  working together to promote the inclusion, assimilation and commissioning of specialist palliative and end of life care provided in the area.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s Hospice, explained: 

 “The health and social care landscape in Greater Manchester is incredibly complex, and as experts in delivery of specialist palliative and end of life care, hospices know that they need to ensure they are shouting loudly with one voice to help influence care decisions for local people.

“This is not about hospices losing their own individual identities, as we are firmly rooted within the communities we serve and we know that is incredibly important to our patients.  However, as experts who have been delivering care for hundreds of years between us, we are also keen to come together to offer solutions to the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership around end of life and palliative care, and to support them even further in its delivery.”

The first stage of the joint partnership work is the engagement of a Project Manager who will work strategically to inform the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and encourage and develop collaborative working between the organisations.

The group has appointed Manchester-born Martin Foster, who will be relocating back to the area from his current London-based role as Senior Manager, Strategic Finance, for NHS Improvement.

Leigh Vallance, Chief Executive of Bolton Hospice and Chair of the GM Hospices group, said: 

“We are incredibly excited about this new role and that it is the first step on a much larger journey for hospices in Greater Manchester. 

“Modern hospices offer such a wide range of specialist services in support of the NHS, and we need to ensure our voice is heard so that our patients and their families can continue to receive high quality, individualised and holistic care right when they need it most.  We’re really looking forward to Martin joining all of our teams.”

Martin, 35, will begin his new role as GM Hospices Project Manager in July.  He said:

“I am incredibly excited to be taking on this brand new role, and cannot wait to get started.  Modern hospices are incredibly complex, innovative organisations, and there are so many opportunities for me to work with the seven teams to really cement their collaborative ways of working and help to influence and shape care for people across Greater Manchester.

“On a personal note, I was born in Urmston and I love Manchester, so I am really looking forward to moving back to the North West.” 

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