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Birmingham St Mary’s shows what it takes to provide end of life care in Covid times this #HospiceCareWeek

5 October 2020

From the 5th to 11th October, Birmingham St Mary’s is taking part in Hospice Care Week, a national campaign led by Hospice UK, to boost awareness about hospice care and its vital role during these difficult times.

During the Covid crisis, the Hospice has responded to huge challenges across all its services. We continued to provide round-the-clock care on our Inpatient Unit as well as critical support in people’s homes, on the phone, and via digital consultations. We’ve also come together in partnership with other hospices to provide a rapid assessment service across Birmingham and Solihull and trained dozens of healthcare professionals with crucial end of life care skills.

Hospice UK estimates that since the Covid crisis began in March, hospices have collectively lost out on approximately £70 million of fundraised income.  Many hospices in England rely on 70% of their funding from public donations through charity shops and fundraising activities, which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic and safety restrictions.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “Hospice Care Week is an annual week of activity, celebration and action, to raise the profile of, and help to change people’s perceptions of hospice care across the UK. Roughly 83% of hospice care is delivered in the community, and that requires a network of staff that people do not necessarily see or know about. With the world dealing with the effects of COVID-19, expert end of life care is more important than ever – and hospices need our support.”

For many people hospices are just buildings where people are cared for in their final days. But that’s only a very narrow part of the picture.  We need people to understand the many ways hospice care helps people live well and make the most of the time they have remaining – and the ongoing support to family members of all ages through bereavement. People’s understanding of hospice care will grow their support.

So this year, a year like never before, play your part in Hospice Care Week and follow and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can help us raise awareness of the vital work we do for local people and families every day. Thank you.