Dying for Change: Evolution and Revolution in Palliative Care

Written by: Joe Emery

Held in Liverpool, last year's theme was 'Dying for Change: Evolution and Revolution in Palliative Care' an intentionally bold idea. The Conference brought together thousands of people who deliver Hospice, palliative and end of life care for patients of all ages.

Here at Saint Francis Hospice, we know that we can't afford to stand still. The Conference encouraged us to think about how we can revolutionise our services to meet the ever-changing and complex needs of a growing and ageing population.

Each hospice had the chance to showcase innovative practice to a national audience. We displayed artwork on creative writing in bereavement groups, driving improvement within our Hospice, and our award-winning corneal donation scheme, which reached a milestone of 50 donations from patients in 2019.

Our Head of Education, Bridget Moss, chaired a session on how communities support carers. She spoke about how the Conference prompted people to share ideas and good practice, as well as challenge current ways of working.

Having spent three days at the Conference, Bridget recognised the need for hospices to make young adults' transition from children's hospice care to adult services a smoother one. She also addressed the hospice workforce crisis and our desire to recruit professionals to replace those in the twilight of their careers.

Bridget cited one task as a particular highlight:

"The event organisers asked us what we would do if we had to start again," she explained. "It encouraged us to think differently and was inspirational."

Thanks to the UK National Conference, we're determined to come up with even more radical solutions to take our Hospice forward.

"We can evolve what we already have as well as being revolutionary," declared Bridget.

"We know hospices are facing challenging times with pressure on costs, a difficult fundraising environment, and increasing demand. Hospice care is at a crossroads right now, and we need to change and adapt to make sure we are fit for the future." Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive, Hospice UK

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