Celebrating a year at St Ann’s

Our Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Neal, looks back over his first year at St Ann’s – and ahead to an exciting future for the hospice.

By News Team on July 19, 2017

Eamonn O'Neal

This week marks one year since I joined St Ann’s from my previous role as Group Managing Editor of Trinity Mirror’s regional publications.  It’s been an exciting year, and, in many ways, I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone.

When I joined as Chief Executive, I was already very familiar with St Ann’s and its work, having served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for almost three years prior to becoming CEO, and I’m pleased to say that being part of such an exemplary team fills me with as much pride now as it did then.

It’s a really interesting time for the hospice sector, and with changes to the local health and social care landscape in Greater Manchester and nationally, there have been lots of challenges and opportunities over the past year.

There will be a lot more changes in the year ahead too, I’m sure.  However, what’s exciting is that St Ann’s has been providing care for almost half a century, and has always had to be nimble and responsive to the changing needs of the sector, the world around us and our patients.  This is more important than ever now, and we have many exciting projects in the pipeline that I look forward to telling you about in the coming months.  I’m proud that we continue to be leaders in our field, but that we also look for ways to take on the opinions and advice of others, and respond to change so we can ensure we’re always learning and adapting.

I’m thankful that the hospice is loved by so many people from right across Greater Manchester and that we are privileged to play such an important part in the local communities we work within.  As a charity that only receives just over a third of its funding from the NHS, we need to raise around £16,000 every day to keep our doors open.

We can only raise those funds thanks to the generous support of local people, who come up with so many different ways of raising money for us.  Whether that’s by getting up before dawn on a Sunday morning to climb a mountain, by holding a bake sale or tea party, leaving a generous legacy in their will, or taking part in one of our events, I’m always amazed and humbled by the energy and enthusiasm with which local people take the hospice into their hearts.  We simply couldn’t care for our patients and their families without that amazing support.  Thanks to everyone I’ve met in the past year who has been involved in raising money for St Ann’s, and also to those I haven’t been lucky enough to meet yet too.  I really appreciate everything you do for the hospice and our patients.

St Ann’s has a rich heritage of specialist care provision, and, whatever changes occur around us, or whatever opportunities we create or take advantage of, it’s important that we never lose sight of our core purpose.  We must ensure that we’re continuing to provide the very best levels of care and support to people from across Greater Manchester – and to ensure we’re able to continue doing that into the next century too.  I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring, and hope they are as fulfilling and exciting as my first year here.