A reason to celebrate

By Eamonn O'Neal on May 14, 2019

We have lots to celebrate at St Ann’s at the moment. It’s the 40th year of our Little Hulton site opening, we’re looking ahead to our organisation’s 50th in 2021, and making exciting plans to ensure our hospice sites and services remain fit for future generations.

The local communities across Greater Manchester are so generous in their support of our work, and we’re extremely grateful for everything they do for our patients and their families.  With only around a third of our funding coming from the NHS, we’re privileged to have been so well supported by local people for almost half a century. Your help really does mean we can care for even more patients than ever before.

Reaching as many people as possible, from as wide a range of local communities as possible, is something that’s extremely important to everyone at the hospice.  We work hard to dispel myths around what hospice care is, and what it means for patients and their families. We talk about the care we can offer to both patients and their loved ones right from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, through treatment and beyond.  And we work hard to educate health care professionals in how we can help them to support their patients too.

We were thrilled that one of our staff members, Jude Holt, who is Head of Practice Development for St Ann’s, received an exciting letter this week from the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and Jon Rouse the Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership announcing that she has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Jude has been nominated for a Greater Manchester Health & Care Champion Award in the Inclusion Champion category, for the work her and her team have been doing to raise awareness of palliative and end of life care with a wide range of local communities.

A large part of this work has been collaborating with Springhill Hospice for the organisation and delivery of an innovative series of lectures, aimed at healthcare professionals and people who work with communities that have traditionally not accessed hospice care, for a variety of reasons.

The series aimed to raise awareness of the issues around palliative and end of life care provision for a range of local populations, whilst providing training and advice on how to better serve patients within those communities. This included people with mental health needs, those who are homeless, in prison, have learning disabilities, are transgender, or have dementia, as well as local BAME populations, travelling families and those with long-term conditions.

This work is so incredibly important to St Ann’s, as we want to ensure that as many people who would benefit from the specialist care hospices provide can do so.  Our communities mean so much to us, and we want to continue shouting from the rooftops to ensure patients with life-limiting illnesses – whatever their background or community – know that we’re here to support them.

We’re so pleased that Jude has been recognised for her innovative projects in this way, and we’re excited to see the results of the awards when they are announced in July.