Ahead of this year’s World Hospice & Palliative Care Day on 9th October, each day we will be sharing news, initiatives and campaigns from Willowbrook Hospice to show our community how we are committed to equity and equality of care. We believe everyone should have access to palliative and end of life care, no matter who they are or what their background is. We will also be raising awareness and understanding of the needs of people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) is an international non-governmental organisation focusing exclusively on hospice and palliative care development worldwide. With members in over 100 countries, we provide a global voice on hospice and palliative care. We are a network of national and regional hospice and palliative care organisations and affiliate organisations. We believe that no one with a life-limiting condition, such as cancer or HIV, should live and die with unnecessary pain and distress. Willowbrook Hospice is proud to be a member of the WHPCA.
Our vision is a world with universal access to hospice and palliative care.
Our mission is to foster, promote and influence the delivery of affordable, quality palliative care.
Improving quality of life and relieving suffering is the key goal of hospice and palliative care. Hospice and palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of adults and children living with and dying from life-limiting conditions. The hospice and palliative care approach focuses on meeting the needs of the whole person not just treating their condition. It addresses the physical, psychological, spiritual issues and other problems faced by those affected. There is never nothing that can be done.
People should be able to access hospice and palliative care as soon as they are diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, and not just at the end of life. Ensuring that people are living with conditions in comfort and without distress is as important as ensuring a good death. Hospice and palliative care is provided wherever the person is, whether that is in the home, hospital, community clinic or hospice. It is generally provided by a team, depending on the setting and the resources available. This team may include family members, community carers, doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers.
Pain treatment is a key part of hospice and palliative care as it is one of the most common and distressing symptoms that people with serious illness and at the end of life face. To treat a patients pain, the simplest, cheapest and most effective method is the use of oral morphine. Unfortunately, it is rarely available in many countries. This is due to fears of addiction, over regulation and lack of training and understanding.
Supporting family members and carers is a key aspect of palliative care. This is to improve their own quality of life and well being and to help ensure the best quality of care for those that they are caring for.
Willowbrook Hospice is one of the UK members of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), an international non-governmental organisation focusing exclusively on hospice and palliative care development worldwide and a global voice on hospice and palliative care. World Hospice & Palliative Care Day is an annual unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. This year’s theme is “Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care”.