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Measuring clinical outcomes for hospices
  1. Michelle Roberts and
  2. Lisa Stott
  1. Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Stoke-on-Trent, UK


In 2009 the West Midlands hospice group worked with Help the Hospices to establish a set of measures that would demonstrate the value of the work of hospices to healthcare commissioners.

An important domain of this work was to accurately measure the outcomes of the care that hospices give through the eyes of those receiving the service – patients and carers. It was felt that the only true measure of a satisfactory outcome is in the eyes of the service receiver so we used that basis to devise an accurate measure of the outcomes of hospice work. We decided to do this by asking patients and carers what they thought the hospice had achieved using a methodology which could be statistically validated.

The DMH worked with other hospices to formulate questions which would most accurately reflect the user's views on the outcomes of hospice treatments as against their goals and expectations. The work was then used to run a series of pilot surveys which helped to test the validity of the questions used and the methodology for calculation of the outcome results and scores. The result was a complete suite of surveys carefully designed to accurately measure service outcomes in hospice care. After some further testing and amendment the surveys were launched in autumn 2010.

These outcome measures are calculated from the results of the surveys and cover both patients and carers for the following services:

  • In Patient Unit

  • Day Hospice

  • Community Clinical Nurse Specialist service

  • Hospice at Home

  • Bereavement Services.

Results of the first full surveys are now available and there are plans to benchmark with other hospices in future. This will enable us to use the results to continue to work towards improving the quality of the services we deliver.

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