ST BARNABAS: Challenges and opportunities for hospices discussed at annual meeting

Hugh Lowson
Hugh Lowson

Our annual meeting took place last Tuesday and we were delighted to welcome Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, to talk to attendees at St Barnabas House.

Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and supports more than 200 hospices in the UK, working closely with them to support their vital work and create a stronger voice for hospice care.

After the formal agenda for the meeting had been concluded, Tracey spoke about the role of Hospice UK and the challenges and opportunities for hospices both now and in the future.

She said that, of the 600,000 deaths in the UK last year, 212,000 of those people were recipients of hospice care in some form.

Interestingly, the national statistics for hospices across the country say that in-patient units now account for just 16 per cent of patients cared for, with Hospice at Home and other community care services on the increase.

Year on year the total turnover of hospices across the UK has increased from £1.3billion to £1.4billion, a figure which is just one per cent of the total NHS budget.

In February, Hospice UK are set to publish a report on the value for money provided by hospice services.

Tracey also said that by 2040 there is set to be a 42 per cent increase in deaths in the UK, meaning the demand on hospice care services is only set to grow.

You can find out more about Hospice UK and the work the organisation is doing at www.hospiceuk.org