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P-16  Clarifying the role of the hospice in support and assessment of carers and developing best practice
  1. Clare Hearnshaw1,
  2. Claire Hewitt1,
  3. Kim Barber2,
  4. Jason Kassernoff3,
  5. Elaine Taylor4 and
  6. Debbie Playford5
  1. 1Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamsted, UK
  2. 2Garden House Hospice Care
  3. 3Keech Hospice
  4. 4Isabel Hospice
  5. 5Rennie Grove Hospice Care


In 2015, five hospice representatives across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire met as a ‘meet and finish’ group to review the service that hospices and palliative care providers give to carers.

The aims of the group were to identify:

  • Gaps in provision

  • Types of assessment tools used

  • Key learning from other services

  • The need for services to collectively to reach more people.

The types of hospice support for adult family carers within the Hospice UK (2013) document “Supporting family carers: report on the evidence of how to work with and support family carers to inform the work of the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care” were used as a basis of the discussion:

  • Information, training and education – moving and handling, disease process, prognosis, specific care tasks, medication, dying

  • Supportive activities – Drop in sessions, self-help groups, walking or activity groups, volunteer visiting, art-making groups

  • Therapeutic activities – one-to-one counselling, therapeutic support groups, drama, music or art therapy, relaxations or mindfulness classes, complementary therapies and psychotherapy.

The focus group ascertained that hospices are confidently providing therapeutic activities, however, they were less confident that hospices provide sufficient information, training and education and supportive activities for carers.

Outcome The group agreed to produce a minimum standard for specialist palliative care providers/hospices in meeting carers’ needs.

Minimum standard for supporting carers by specialist palliative care providers/hospices

  • Signpost those early in the trajectory to partner organisations

  • Young carers

  • Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool

  • Moving and handling, the care towards the end of life and Caring in Confidence courses

  • Leaflets and website

  • Financial or benefit advice

  • Supportive activities

  • Therapeutic activities.

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