The Family Support Team at St Columba’s Hospice Care has been nationally recognised for the way it adapted its services during the pandemic, expanded on key learnings and harnessed the latest technology to reach more people in the local community with expert care.
The Edinburgh-based hospice was announced winner of the ‘Towergate Hospice Team of the Year Award’ at the annual Hospice UK Awards. The ceremony was held at Hospice UK’s national conference in Glasgow which took place on the 22 November and aims to celebrate the innovative work taking place in hospices and palliative care organisations across the UK, and the people involved with them. The Team of the Year award recognises the achievements of a specific hospice team working together to improve outcomes and deliver exceptional results.
Craig Hutchison, Family Support Team Manager for St Columba’s Hospice Care, said: “We’re thrilled to have been presented with the Hospice UK Award for Team of the Year. It’s a great boost for the team to be nationally recognised for our swift response to COVID-19, the reorganisation of our family support services and the creation of our virtual family support model.
“It demonstrates that our integrated and flexible care approach was successful; in fact, we’ve seen referrals to our service double in the past 12 months, when compared to the previous year. What makes our Family Support Team standout, and indeed the hospice team as a whole, is their commitment to putting the patient first and this award is testament to that.”
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the need for support. As a result, the Hospice’s family support services have never been more in demand. The number of sessions provided to patients, carers, children and young people continues to increase year-on-year. It is anticipated the Hospice will continue to offer a blended model of face to face and virtual support going forward.
Toby Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Hospice UK said: “We’re pleased to award the ‘Towergate Hospice Team of the Year Award’ to St Columba’s Hospice Care for their Family Support Team.
“The team at St Columba’s is a small team that has a big impact. They have continued to expand and adapt over the past year to provide the best accessibility for patients and family members.
“The sheer range of their work is impressive, not only working with bereaved young people and adults, but offering training to nursery and school staff, student nurses and facilitating ECHO sessions for district nurses. This project is a shining example of a team who have gone above and beyond.”
Partnership working is fundamental to the Hospice’s Family Support Team with projects undertaken with other hospices, nurseries, schools, Child Bereavement UK and others, collaborating to influence change at a national level.