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P-208 Strategic partnership between hospices – the opportunities and benefits of hospices working collaboratively
  1. Kate Heaps1,
  2. Heather Richardson2 and
  3. Shaun O’Leary2
  1. 1Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, London, UK
  2. 2St Christopher’s Hospice, London, UK


Background With changes in NHS commissioning which aim for greater integration across larger areas and increased resourcing pressures experienced by hospices; strategic partnerships between hospices have never been more necessary. The recent Hospice UK Future Vision Programme (2020) set out principles of sustainability for hospices, many of which can be best achieved by working together.

In 2017 our two hospices established a partnership; managed through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), it set out a shared ambition, agreed principles for engagement and the partnership’s governance structure.

Aims The partnership agreed to:

  • Work together with integrity and probity for the benefit of patients and the public.

  • Improve outcomes and experiences through early collaboration and planning.

  • Deliver high-quality standards of patient care, consistently and equitably across the system.

  • Lead the way in strategic planning of services that are safe and sustainable

  • Identify/share opportunities for good practice in transparent and value-for-money partnership arrangements.

Achievements so far/Results Our hospices have developed supportive relationships and regular communication between leadership teams, operational managers and boards. Working collaboratively in:

  • Joint external education delivery – sharing resources, contacts and income.

  • Rehabilitation – supporting development of one partner’s service through senior leadership and joint occupational therapy post.

  • Fundraising – trialling a joint mass-participation event.

  • Retail – supporting personal development of new income generation director and establishing improvements for retail.

  • Commissioning –to support negotiations with commissioners and increase influence across integrated care system.

  • Medical support – sharing senior medical resource to support development/business continuity.

  • Bed capacity – sharing inpatient capacity during COVID-19 -related closures.

  • Staff wellbeing – shared health/wellbeing month funded by NHS England.

Conclusions By working together, we’ve achieved service improvements, shared expertise, increased efficiency and maintained business continuity. We continue to look for opportunities to work together for the furtherance of our stated aims as outlined in the MOU.

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