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Hospice support services from diagnosis to infinity and beyond ….
  1. Linda Hewitt,
  2. Carol Green and
  3. Maggie Bober
  1. Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Cumbria, UK


Completion of a research thesis, as part of an MA in Hospice Leadership, led to the development of a new concept of Hospice Support, concordant with the North West End of Life Care Model.

This brings together the diverse range of Hospice Services with the intention of Hospice moving from being complementary to the PHCT, to one which is prepared to take ownership and leadership on key areas of community based palliative and end of life care development.

Develop a new concept of Hospice Support, by reforming services to work under one umbrella, including medical, social and psychological disciplines within the Hospice team, maximising the use of appropriately trained volunteers.

Develop a protocol for family support, continuing into bereavement.

Social, emotional, psychological, spiritual needs of patients, carers and their families were strategically reviewed.

Creation of a new Hospice Support Services ‘Hub’, where the social, emotional and psychological needs of patients, carers and their families are reviewed on a weekly basis, taking cognisance of their medical needs.

Allocation of a lead professional to liaise with the referred person throughout their involvement with Hospice Support.

The development of a comprehensive and structured pre and post bereavement follow-up; following 40 h training time for Family and Bereavement Support Volunteers.

A variety of new services are being developed, together with new opportunities for volunteers, including;

  • Open-ended Support groups; Patients, carers and bereaved

  • Creative therapeutic groups; patients, carers, bereaved

  • Support volunteers; Patients, carers

  • Family and Bereavement Support Volunteers

  • Complementary therapies

  • One to one support; Complex Cases

  • Living for Today closed groups; Patients, Carers.

Despite the challenge of change we are developing a continuing support service for patients, their carers and families who have varying individual needs at different times in the end of life trajectory of the patient.

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