Winners announced in inaugural palliative care awards

24 March 2016
Organisations from West Yorkshire to Surrey have been honoured at the first palliative and end of life care awards organised by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), lead body of Dying Matters. The four winners were chosen from three shortlisted entries in each category, out of more than 50 nominations received.

The winners:

St Giles Hospice was named Bereavement Project of the Year, supported by Cruse Bereavement Care, for its Bereavement Help Points. Starting with a single help point in  Sutton Coldfield, the project now has seven help points with two more set to open in 2016. 

The Pushing Up Daisies festival won the Dying Matters Awareness Initiative of the Year. The eight day event in May 2015 encouraged the people of Todmorden to think about and talk about death and dying. It featured film, theatre, dance, music and much more. 

CoSI was named End of Life Care Champion of the Year, sponsored by Care Choices. Based in North West Surrey, CoSI is a collaborative model of care for people at home with deteriorating health in the last weeks of their lives. 

St Helena Hospice won the Effective Coordination of Care Award, sponsored by Christies Care. St Helena launched a 24-hour telephone triage and rapid response system across North East Essex. It now receives over 2,500 calls a month. As a result, hospital deaths in the area have fallen faster than the national average. 

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and Dying Matters coalition, said: “We were amazed at the number and quality of the entries. All of the shortlisted entries were impressive, and the winners really had to be something special to stand out. We hope that these awards show the range of excellent work going on in end of life care, and inspire others in their work.”

The awards were made at the end of the first day of the NCPC's two day conference “An Ambitious New World: building the future for palliative and end of life care.” Nearly 200 people are attending the event, held at Keele University, Staffordshire. 

More about the winners in their own words

1) Bereavement Help Points

St Giles Hospice in partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care and other local organisations

The first bereavement help point was set up from St Giles Hospice’s Sutton Coldfield Supportive Care Centre in 2014. We now operate seven Bereavement Help Points across our catchment area, with two more due to open in 2016. 

We work in partnership with Cruse Bereavement Care in many of our help points to ensure that those attending get the very best bereavement care. This drop-in bereavement service is person-centred and there no limits to attendance or on length or type of grief. 

2) CoSI; an innovative model of community based end of life care 

Partner organisations in North West Surrey have developed a collaborative model of care for people at home with deteriorating health in the last 6 – 8 weeks of their lives. The innovative model has the full support of North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is based around the delivery of Co-ordinated, Safe and Integrated (CoSI) personalised care within the community. 

Based on learning and with a local focus, the partner organisations worked collectively to focus on the end of life care needs of people and their families, developing a workable local framework with referral pathways from primary care, the community and secondary care. 

Partner organisations are Woking and Sam Beare Hospices who have the lead co-ordinating role, Marie Curie, Princess Alice Hospice and Virgin Care Community Services for the delivery of care at home working closely with Ashford and St Peters Hospital as a key partner for a whole systems approach. 

North West Surrey CCG are committed to the development of high quality end of life care services, to improvements in clinical outcomes and strong professional relationships across partner organisations which is demonstrated in the CoSI innovative model of care delivery. 

The CoSI team is led by Lesley Wilson, Team Lead and Co-ordinator

3) ‘Pushing Up Daisies’ – a community festival about death and dying 

Leads – Mary Clear, Hannah Merriman and Sue Robinson 

This was an eight-day ‘festival’ in May 2015 to encourage people in the town of Todmorden (West Yorkshire) to think about, and talk to each other about, death and dying. The festival was called ‘Pushing up Daisies’ and Mary, Hannah and Sue described it as being organised by a group of Todmorden folk who find thinking about, talking about and planning for death pretty scary. "We’d like it to be easier, kinder, more communal and less frightening. So we got together, invited the rest of the town and came up with the Festival."

The festival was run by a large number of volunteers and included film, theatre, dance, music, talks, art, poetry, storytelling, exhibitions, therapeutic groups and community activities. It took place in 18 venues across town. There was no funding and almost all the events were free. Despite foul weather, hundreds of people took part. 

Two spin-off groups – one for people affected by suicide and another called the ‘Good Grief’ group – were set up as a result of the Festival and have continued, providing community support for people struggling to manage their grief. Planning for the next Festival, which will take place in May 2016, is well underway. 

4) St. Helena Hospice – Single Point Service 

Service Lead – Kathryn Davies

Director of Patient and Family Services – Ray Wilson 

St Helena hospice set up the 24-hour telephone triage and rapid response service at the same time as launching the North East Essex electronic palliative care coordination system, called the My Care Choices Register. By building on a local primary care initiative to increase the identification of people in the last year of life, the service has been able to reach people in increasing numbers across the area. The service now receives over 2,500 calls per month and offers care co-ordination to all those identified by the register and rapid response visits for those in need. 

Across North East Essex the proportion of hospital deaths has fallen faster than the national average. In 2014/15, 84% of those who died on the register died in a preferred place and only 18% died in hospital. Patient feedback has been excellent and in 2015, 30% of those that died in North East Essex had been pre-identified by the register and had had an opportunity to record their care preferences. 

We continue to develop our service by working closely with local care homes and our local hospital and are ambitious to reach an even greater percentage of those with palliative and end of life care needs. 


See our album of photographs from the event

NCPC Palliative Care awards shortlist

Follow the hashtag #EOLFutures on Twitter to see tweets from NCPC's inaugural two-day conference and awards 

Award winner Ian Leech of St Giles Hospice: "I want everyone to have the care Mel had"

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