Professor Max Watson
Consultant Palliative Medicine
University of Ulster
Celebrating a life in 2017, differs greatly from when the hospice movement began. We are culturally, emotionally, sexually, commercially and spiritually different. We are a very different society. Hospices have been on a journey themselves, ensuring patients have more information and therefore more opportunity to choose the care that suits them at this very important part of their lives. Hospice staff are skilled in being attentive and trained in helping people think through what they want in all aspects of their care, which may also include who they really want to be remembered as, and how they would like their funeral to be.
With end of life care and bereavement care being delivered by hospices across the country day and daily, and many funeral services being taken by Hospice Chaplains, it seems only appropriate that hospices should consider offering uninterrupted care and support from holistic care through to bereavement. By doing so, families are saved from the anxiety of an additional transition to another service provider. Of course, many families will have close relationships already with their own undertakers, but for those who do not St. Margaret’s are offering an opportunity for families to continue to receive uninterrupted care and support including the funeral from a team and an organisation that they have come to know and trust.
At the same time, across the country, many different organisations are recognising that families are looking for different ways to remember and celebrate lives. St. Margaret’s are providing another choice and have done so because they have perceived that some families would really benefit from the sort of service they have designed.
The hard work and care that has gone into developing the service and the research of the public’s opinions’ about it demonstrate that St. Margaret’s have not made this step lightly and the real need expressed by patients and by families for this aspect of care has been the driving motivation.
Notes to Editors:
- Margaret’s Hospice Care: Making Each Day Count
Our purpose is to provide “High Quality responsive care to patients and their families facing a life shortening illness” and our vision is “a community in which all dying people and those close to them have access to appropriate care and support, when they need it, wherever they need it and whoever they are”.
Did you know?
- Margaret’s is a Somerset charity – we are not part of the NHS
- It costs £10m per year to run our service
- After NHS funding we still need to raise £7.5m to deliver our care
- We care for people with any life-limiting illness, not just cancer
- We support families and carers as well as patients
- 1 in 3 people in Somerset will need our support in their lifetime
- Last year St. Margaret’s cared for 3,200 people
- The majority of people are cared for in their own homes
- Over 1,200 volunteers help us care for people at the end of their lives
- 1 in 5 of our patients receive care, thanks to gifts in wills
For further information about St. Margaret’s Hospice please contact: