Nine independent North East hospices, collectively Hospices North East, are joining forces with other hospices across the UK to support a campaign aimed at widening access to the vital support they provide for people with life-limiting conditions across the region.

Working together for this year’s Hospice UK, Open Up Hospice Care Campaign, are: St Oswald’s Hospice, Alice House Hospice, St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Teesside Hospice, St Teresa’s Hospice, Willow Burn Hospice, Butterwick Hospice, Hospice Care North Northumberland and Tynedale Hospice at Home.

The Open Up Hospice Care campaign – which launches today (Monday 4 March) – is led by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK.  The campaign highlights how hospice care is available beyond the four walls of hospice inpatient units, as most people assume, including care in the home and in the community and how hospices strive to provide a home from home environment.

James Ellam, Chair of Hospices North East, said:

“Hospices North East aims to transform care together by ensuring the people of the North East receive outstanding hospice care and support.  Working together during the month-long Open Up campaign gives us the opportunity to educate supporters about hospice care and the breath of services we provide to babies, children, young adults, adults and families from across the region.

“People often assume that hospices only offer an inpatient ward, however, we offer so much more.  This month we want to let our supporters know about all the extraordinary care that takes place at home and in the community.  Our patients often tell us that we go the ‘extra mile’ to make our hospices as homely and accessible as possible, such as enabling patient’s pets to visit, having a Saturday night take away, no restricted visiting hours and more.”

St Oswald’s Hospice provide wide-ranging support for both people with life-limiting conditions and their families, including: day services, bereavement support, complementary therapies, lymphoedema treatment and more.

Hospice UK and local hospices are working to further extend care to more people through initiatives such as expanding community services and reaching out to the different groups of people who have been missing out on vital support, including people living with dementia.

James ended:

“Hospices North East believes everyone has the right to hospice care.  If you want to help your local hospice this month you can make a real difference by fundraising, donating items for our shops, volunteering or simply sharing a social media post or telling someone you know about your local hospice.  With your support, we can ‘Open Up’ hospice care so that everyone who needs it, gets it.”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said:

“For some, hospice care can seem a remote reality but we are all living longer, often with complex health conditions, and more of us will need this care in the future ourselves, or will be caring for a loved one who does.

“With its focus on comfort not cure and promoting quality of life and what matters most to people, hospice care can help them live well until the end of life and support their loved ones, and it is available in more places than most people realise.

“We want to share the benefits of hospice care more widely so that everyone is able to get this vital support and wherever they want.”

To find out more about The Open Up Campaign visit www.hospiceuk.org/support-us/campaigns/open-up-hospice-care or contact your local hospice.  Keep an eye out for local hospice stories on social media during March by following #OpenUpHospiceCare