National campaign highlights that one in four people who could benefit from hospice care are currently not able to do so.
Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice is joining forces with national charity Hospice UK and other hospices across the country to launch a new campaign aimed at widening access to end of life care.
New analysis published today by Hospice UK has found that nationally one in four families of people who could benefit from hospice care are not getting the support they need.
Hospices provide wide-ranging support for terminally ill people including medical care, spiritual and emotional support and also complementary therapies to promote well-being. Hospices also provide patients’ families with practical and emotional support, such as bereavement counselling and art psychotherapy.
There are a number of reasons why people are not referred for hospice or other end of life care.
In some cases it’s because of a lack of awareness that hospices care for patients with a range of terminal illnesses. John Taylor Hospice supports patients with conditions including motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder and heart failure as well as cancer.
Also studies have shown that people from economically deprived areas, people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can experience barriers in accessing end of life care services across the country.
The Open Up Hospice Care campaign seeks to raise awareness among the public about the fact that hospice care is available to all people – regardless of their sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or illness.
John Taylor Hospice CEO Penny Venables said: “At John Taylor Hospice we care for people with a range of end of life conditions from a range of backgrounds. What matters is that all of our care is ‘Taylor-made’ to the individual.
“However this research from Hospice UK is a stark reminder that there are potentially thousands of patients who are not receiving the excellent care that hospices can provide.
“John Taylor’s vision is a compassionate and dignified death for all and to achieve that vision we must expand our services to provide care for those who are currently not able to access it.
“That is why we have joined with Hospice UK and other hospices in the country to launch the Open Up Hospice Care campaign.
“Every day we see the difference that hospice care makes to local people and their families. And we want to make that care available to everyone. By donating on our website www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk you can help us to open up hospice care so that everyone who could benefit from specialist support at end of life is able to do so.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “The chances are you know someone who needs hospice care. Sadly, many families of people with terminal conditions are missing out on the vital care they need for their loved ones, as well as the emotional and psychological support available to help them cope.
“Hospices are committed to extending the reach of their services but this work needs to be part of a wider effort involving all healthcare providers if we are to tackle current inequities and ensure that everyone gets the expert care they need at the end of life.”