Dying, Who Cares?
What is the role of the hospice movement with regards to the frail elderly? Do we ration care to just the last few weeks of life or start earlier? What should hospices be offering the wider care sector? There are too few opportunities for those involved in the end-of-life care sector to discuss these thorny issues and to suggest new joint approaches.
In September 2014 Princess Alice Hospice brought together a panel of highly experienced healthcare professionals and a specially invited audience to discuss these issues at an event kindly hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, at The Mansion House, London.
The expert panel included:
- Jocelyn Cornwell – Director of the Point of Care Foundation
- Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders – Practising Macmillan GP and End of Life Care and Cancer Commissioning Lead at Richmond CCG
- Dr Ros Taylor – Chief Executive of The Hospice of St Francis and National Director for Hospice Care for Hospice UK
- Dr Peter West – Health Economist and Trustee of Princess Alice Hospice
The chairman of the panel was Jonathan Perkins, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Princess Alice Hospice.
In her introduction, the Lord Mayor said:
“Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, welcome … I have to say that there is no greater pleasure than welcoming the Princess Alice Hospice and all of you from the hospices in and around the London area to the Mansion House to exchange some really deep thinking about the future.
“The Princess Alice Hospice is one of the beneficiaries of my Lord Mayor’s Appeal and they have done a brilliant job in bringing together so many experts in the end-of-life care sector tonight. We are here because you care, in every sense of the word. ‘Care’ is such an important word in the hospice movement, and we want to put that compassion and courage together to make a difference to very good effect.
“[My Husband] Nicholas’ first wife was looked after by the Princess Alice Hospice during her own battle with cancer, and as Lord Mayor it has been my honour to showcase the incredible work that it does and the importance – very much the importance – of the incredible work that hospices do. Within the hospice and in the community there is no end to the good that it does, and there are no heights that I wouldn’t scale to shout about it.
“In fact, just 10 days ago you would have seen me at the very top of the Lloyd’s building, which I then abseiled down in aid of Princess Alice Hospice and the other three appeal beneficiaries. Nicholas says it was much more difficult to watch it than to do it. I must say, it was not something I ever thought I would do, but it was in a very good cause and I have the Princess Alice Hospice to thank for the practice opportunity that I had on the grandstand at Epsom Racecourse, when I learnt the one key thing that you do in abseiling, which is never to look down.
“Everyone in the room comes from a hospice background or a hospice directly, which has something to offer to the debate that’s so powerful because actually what you are doing, as a force for good in your communities, is born of the experience that you have had. Through the collaboration of informed individuals, we can innovate and effect real change, and it is that which the private apartments in the Mansion House likes to facilitate.
“The theme for my mayoral year is the energy to transform lives, which reflects the deep and diverse pool of talent here in London and in the UK and it rings especially true tonight. In this room, teaming with experience and ideas, I hope that your abundant energy can be harnessed to transform many more lives in the future.”
You can listen to a recording of the full discussion or download a printable extract below.
Download an extract of the full discussion (pdf)
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