Perceptions and understanding of hospice care

Independent hospices have traditionally been seen in a tremendously positive light by the communities they serve and the general public, this view was reinforced by research conducted by IposMori in 2005.  However, this research also showed that the public have a poor understanding of independent hospices and the care they provide.  Hospices are seen as a place where you go to die; a building rather than a philosophy of care.  Many people are unaware that independent hospices provide a core NHS service, and receive varying levels of statutory funding to provide services.  With an increase in policy, political and media focus on end of life care, death and dying and information more freely accessible via now media (i.e. the internet) public perceptions and understanding of independent hospices and the care they provide will change.

What are the implications?

  • Potential increased demand as awareness of hospice services increases
  • Greater understanding of hospice care could impact on how the hospice movement is viewed, with potential for more negative perceptions (for example if awareness of funding sources increases)

Moving forward

  • Do you need to review your marketing and communications to ensure that your organisation is viewed positively into the future?
  • How can you deal with any potential negative media coverage that results from increased interest in hospice care?
  • How do you inform potential clients/service users about your services so that they are aware of what you do and do not provide?
Last updated at 09:58 Fri 25/Sep/09.

Discuss

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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