St Catherine’s Hospice is launching a pioneering new project with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to improve equality and diversity in hospice care, thanks to a grant of £34,000 from West Lancashire Freemasons.
The charity is embarking on an innovative 18-month initiative to enhance the inclusivity and accessibility of inpatient and community services, establishing links with ethnic minority groups to gain a better understanding of the support and care that various communities require from hospices. Grant funding has been awarded by Hospice UK to St Catherine’s, through a donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation; the national charity of the Freemasons.
Dr Andrew Campbell, Specialty Doctor at the Lostock Hall Hospice, who is leading the project, said: “Initially this scheme is about research and connecting with representatives across our communities to learn from them; to listen to their views and determine how they perceive hospice care; to find out what barriers or misconceptions are preventing people from accessing our services; and to explore how we might adapt our care and support to achieve any unmet needs in our area. Since only 2.7% of inpatients and 4.4% of patients being cared for in the community by St Catherine’s over the past five years identified as ethnic minorities, it is clear that there is an imbalance in equality and we wish to address this, identify where improvements can be made in service design and delivery, and to introduce long-term organisational changes that embed inclusive practices for the benefit of people with life-shortening illnesses across the whole of Central Lancashire.
Examples could be updating our website and producing information leaflets to include different languages; developing specialist roles to provide palliative and end-of-life care which better suits a broader range of beliefs, customs and lifestyles; or hosting outreach events to provide opportunities for direct community involvement and feedback.”
Dr Campbell added: “UCLan are kindly supporting us with this project, and we will be adopting a hospice-wide approach to build on our established engagement activities with ethnic minority communities. We also hope to work with other local health and social care providers who share a responsibility for awareness, understanding, referral, access and uptake of hospice care and support, such as GPs, care homes and district nurses. We’re looking forward to gathering insightful research to help us shape services for the future, and in becoming an organisation which better represents the communities we serve.”
Tony Harrison and Peter Lockett from West Lancashire Freemasons made the generous £34,000 donation to St Catherine’s on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, and met with Dr Campbell and the charity’s chief executive, Lynn Kelly, to hear more about the ambitious scheme. Tony said: “I am delighted that West Lancashire Freemasons are able to support St Catherine’s Hospice and UCLan in this initiative which will have a positive impact on our community”
St Catherine’s Hospice is a local, independent charity based in Lostock Hall, Lancashire, which provides highly specialised palliative and end-of-life care for the people of Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. St Catherine’s helps people with all kinds of life-shortening conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease and heart failure, to experience quality of life, to the end of life. The charity provides specialised, personalised care and support to help people live well with comfort, independence and choice – either at home or in the hospice. To learn more about St Catherine’s Hospice,