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O-26 Dealing with the ‘difficult stuff’, working in a non-clinical team in a uk hospice
  1. Fran Hyde
  1. University of Essex, Colchester, UK


Negotiating the changing health and social care environment has required hospices to recruit individuals to carry out specific roles which are not formed around clinical and caring responsibilities (Hospice UK, 2017). An individual joining a hospice may have expertise in digital marketing and social media but is unlikely to have detailed knowledge of end of life care. Whilst their role may require that they engage with and represent the day to day work of a hospice, unlike those performing clinical and caring roles, the individuals and the team at the centre of this study carried out their day to day work away from day centres or inpatient units. Whilst several studies have illuminated the work and challenges of clinical and care workers at hospices, little is known about the experiences of these other individuals and teams working away from patients and families but who together with clinical teams comprise and at times embody a modern hospice (Baugher, 2015; Bennet & Barkensjo, 2005; Cain, 2012). Based on a three-month ethnographic study of a marketing team in a UK hospice which included participant observation and interviews, this study is important for trustees, senior leadership and clinical teams detailing the experiences of those working in hospices but away from patients and families. This study considers how individuals in a marketing team came to understand and find their own way to engage with the ‘difficult stuff’ (Georgia, 2015) at the heart of a hospice. At times understanding the challenging work of their hospice through BBC dramas such as ‘The C Word’ (Lucy, 2015) or their own families’ experiences of hospice care the team were also concerned that those on the clinical side might regard their team as ‘sitting in a cosy ivory tower’ (Nina, 2015). Emerging themes from this study consider how a non-clinical team makes sense of a UK hospice.

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