Ardgowan Hospice offer healthcare to patients with life-limiting illnesses. Our provision of Business Support helped guide them on their journey to better meet the regional need for their services.
Ardgowan Hospice is a compassionate organisation offering healthcare for people living in Inverclyde who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness, such as cancer, heart failure and lung disease.
Quality of life is at the forefront of Ardgowan’s work. The hospice provides specialist palliative care on an in-patient and out-patient basis primarily for the people of Inverclyde (one of the most deprived local authority areas in Scotland).
All hospices currently face huge challenges in delivering palliative care, including the impact of continuing austerity and demographic changes, which are likely to lead to huge increases in demand.
At the same time standards and expectations have risen nationally. People increasingly expect palliative care to support them at end of their lives and in the setting of their choice, such as at home. The Scottish Government has set a target that, by 2021, all people who need palliative care will be able to access it.
Ardgowan Hospice also faces specific challenges associated with the majority of its funding (62%) coming from non-statutory sources, such as public giving, whilst based in an area of income poverty and deprivation.
How we helped
The Hospice was half-way through a four year National Lottery Community Fund project ‘Inside-Out Hospice’ (21st Century Life, large grant) with outcomes focused on providing more palliative care in the patient’s home or in community settings and increasing the availability of services across the local area.
Social Investment Business provided advisory support and guidance in governance and leadership from August 2017 until the end of September 2018.
To spur on a wider transformation of its services, Ardgowan Hospice established a team of project managers and senior hospice staff from care and finance.
What was the outcome?
Extensive community and public research was carried out and as a result the Hospice improved relationships and communications across the board with the public, primary care professionals, and third sector organisations.
Outreach services were re-examined to better meet the public need and the project team asked fundamental questions to determine how many people in Inverclyde required palliative care.
This, in turn, has informed the project team’s discussions with the Health and Care Partnership (who have oversight of home carers) and district nurses and voluntary organisations such as Compassionate Inverclyde (supported / sponsored by the hospice) to re-engineer how to work together to meet demand.
“The advice reinforced the project governance. It helped the team focus on time management and reporting structures. The guidance allowed us to concentrate on our role as facilitators of the project and to get support from senior management at all stages. Our consultant made sure that the project team remained focussed on the key objectives of the Inside Out Hospice project. We considered our SIB consultant to be a part of our extended project team. Their participation added an invaluable component to the Project’s governance, professionalism and structure.”
Project Manager, Ardgowan Hospice Inside Out Project
The Hospice hopes that, by using their methodology, and working with Partners to establish baseline data, the hospice and Health and Social Care Partnership will be able to make an informed judgement on the effects of changes to linked service delivery models. This could improve emergency hospital admission statistics for those patients within Inverclyde who are in need of palliative care, and have a diagnosis of a life limiting illness.
If successful, then the Hospice will be able to more effectively meet patients’ needs at home on a 24/7 basis through a combination of professionals, volunteers and the use of video technology and helpline service. For example, piloting a new virtual outpatient clinic for its Lymphoedema service.
In conclusion, Ardgowan Hospice has successfully used the National Lottery funding and business support, not simply to deliver the planned outputs, but as a springboard to drive deeper thinking and launch a wider conversation that could lead to a transformation of palliative care in Inverclyde (and beyond).