STAFF and volunteers at a hospice that has been 30 years in development have pledged to continue their pioneering work to help patients live with their illnesses.
St Teresa’s Hospice, which serves the people of Darlington, South West Durham and North Yorkshire, launched its strategic plan setting out its vision to 2020.
The organisation staged a convention, focussed on resilience, reviewing three decades of care, during which time it has pioneered a host of services to help people living with life-limiting conditions and support their families.
The One Hospice Convention also featured sessions on quality assurance and risk management and workshops in mindfulness and emotional first aid, with feedback and questions. Staff and volunteers also joined in Hawaiian dance to demonstrate care for themselves and others.
Chief executive Jane Bradshaw told staff and volunteers: “As an organisation we are 30 years into our development and we need to keep doing what we are doing well. We need to make sure we keep listening and we are a needs-led pioneering organisation.
“We need to strive for continuous improvement, extend service reach and pioneer care according to local need. That is why we are a charity and that is what makes charities so brilliant.”
She said the strategic plan provided the hospice’s overall goals and the means to achieve them.
“We have a really great set of services and an incredible new in-patient unit,” Mrs Bradshaw said. “We are reliable, well established, but must ensure we are sustainable.”
Delegates heard that in 1995 it cost under £500,000 a year to run the hospice. This had now risen to £2.7m.
The hospice fundraising team outlined the main sources of income, including adoptions and corporate support, the pioneering work of the hospice shops St Ts, on-line fundraising, challenge events and the benefits of social media. The new Bark in the Park dog walking event, for example, had raised more than £10,000 thanks to the support of social media.
Mrs Bradshaw said: “It is essential that we are responsible as guardians of this important charity, for our patients and all those people who do so much to raise money for the hospice. We are going to conduct a fundamental review of all practices to see what we can do better and ensure we are making a difference.”
She said that there would be direct feed back sessions, appraisals, suggestion boxes, semi-structured sensitive interviews with patients and families, to ensure the very best experience and the highest quality care.
“Everything will be read, assessed and actioned. The plan will be shared with everyone and every aspect of performance measured. We will continue to provide completely holistic care, free of charge, in the patient’s choice of environment.”
Hospice chairman Harry Byrne added: “The two years it has taken to come up with the new plan has been time well spent and today’s convention has been a remarkable event. The whole ethos of the hospice is absolutely fantastic; it’s a brilliant organisation that I am proud to be associated with.”