Our FutureVision programme
Demand for palliative and end of life care is increasing. The UK has an aging population with increasingly complex co-morbidities and lifelong conditions. This challenging context set alongside the realities of constrained resources means Hospices are under greater pressure than ever before to find ways to do more with less.
How we can open up hospice care
Our ambitious strategy is the blueprint for how we can achieve the transformation that is needed and sets out four strategic goals that will be driving our work over the next five years.
Extend our reach and enable hospice quality care to be delivered in any setting
The hospice sector alone cannot meet all the additional and growing demands for end of life care. It is therefore vital that we help to increase capacity and the style of care beyond the walls of hospices in a range of settings.
In this way we can ensure that many more people live well towards the end of their life, die in the place of their choice, and have the best experience possible for themselves, their carers, family, friends and community.
Strong and sustainable partnerships between hospice care and care homes, social care, sheltered accommodation, housing associations, acute hospitals and other charities will enable this to happen.
Trained and supported carers and families playing an active role as co-deliverers of care will ensure that more people are able to achieve what matters to them as life draws to a close.
Tackle inequality and widen access to hospice care
Access to hospice care is currently inequitable.
People with conditions such as dementia, heart and liver failure, lung disease and frailty would benefit greatly from hospice care but are not widely being referred. At the same time, some children with life-shortening conditions are living longer and need support to transition into adult services.
In addition, many groups feel they are disadvantaged towards the end of life and do not have easy access to appropriate hospice services. These groups include certain faith groups, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, homeless people, prisoners and the traveller community.
To address this, we need to understand better who is not receiving hospice care and to help local hospices to better understand the needs of the community in their catchment area. Research into the most appropriate services and approaches is also needed, plus education, support and shared best practice to help focus scarce resources and respond to unmet needs.
Work with communities to build capacity and resilience to care for those at the end of life
Carers play a critical role in caring for someone towards the end of life so they can be supported to live well and to die at home if this is their wish.
For the carers themselves, this can be very demanding indeed. Many have to take a break from work or even give up working entirely. Yet many employers do not recognise their needs, for example for greater flexibility or more support. We also know that informal networks and the wider community play a vital support role.
Too often, however, the health and social care sector is ill-equipped to support such networks and to adapt to situations where traditional family structures are not in place. This must change. Hospice care cannot be delivered without well-supported carers and resilient communities.
Empower a strong, dynamic and responsive hospice sector
A strong hospice sector is essential if we are to achieve our ambitious vision for hospice care for everyone in need.
We must continue to push boundaries, to challenge and provoke and constantly develop and evolve services, partnerships and networks in order to reach and support more people.
Download the full Hospice UK strategy
You can download the full strategy below, which outlines not only our goals, but how we aim to meet those objectives and outlines what the indicators of success will be.
We have also produced a version of the strategy which highlights how our new strategic goals are relevant to the 38 children’s hospices in the UK.