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O-10 Sussex hospices collaboration
  1. David Scott-Ralphs1,
  2. Imelda Glackin2 and
  3. Karen Clarke3
  1. 1St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Eastbourne, UK
  2. 2Martlets Hospice, Brighton, UK
  3. 3St Michael’s Hospice, Hastings, UK


Background Since 2018 the seven Sussex adult hospices have been actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate. This gives opportunities to combine resources, share knowledge and speak effectively with one voice, raising the quality and profile of hospice care in Sussex. This chimes with key themes from the Hospice UK Future Vision Programme (2020), the NHS ‘Next Steps’ document ( NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2020) and the Ambitions Framework (National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2021).


  • To increase collective reach.

  • Create sustainable hospices capable of influencing and leading the wider health and social care system and responding coherently to threats and opportunities.

  • Share learning and resources to improve existing variation and inefficiency.

  • Create flexibility allowing hospice sub-sets to work at place level.

  • Seek to standardise and improve statutory funding.


  • Autumn 2018 – scoping work done.

  • March 2019 – joint meeting of Trustees/Chief Executive Officers to agree initial work programme.

  • May 2019 – combined launch event with staff.

  • June-October 2019 – five workstreams developing proposals.

  • November/December 2019 – proposals brought to hospice Boards. Financial commitment for 18–month programme and memorandum of understanding signed. Collaboration Steering Group established.

  • March 2020 – pause due to pandemic, joint work to establish basis for additional beds funding.

  • September 2020 – programme recommenced.


  • Set up Project ECHO superhub for care home education.

  • Agreed joint mandatory and management learning programmes.

  • Creating Sussex Education Hub to combine resources in one jointly-owned entity.

  • Benchmarking core activity.

  • Working on common data set.

  • Created Sussex Hospices brand.

  • Appointed Programme Manager.

  • Shared posts.

  • Place-based collaboration.

  • Growing influence and representation with commissioners and in ICS planning forums.

  • Selected as a pilot area for NHSE sustainability work.

Conclusions We are now seeing growing momentum and, from the evidence so far of our ability to cost share, exchange knowledge and influence thinking in key forums, we are convinced of the imperative for this work if we are to make the best use of our knowledge and resources for the benefit of the people of Sussex.

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