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Thursday, 13 May 2021
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Quarter million pound research fund will help improve hospice care

HOSPICE care has received an exciting boost as researchers have been awarded a quarter of a million-pound grant to establish better care for terminally ill patients.

The funding will support researchers at the University of Warwick working with Marie Curie to explore the impact that Covid-19 has had on hospice care. Examining the experiences of up to 22 hospices in the West Midlands, the research findings will be used to improve clinical practice for people dying now and in the years to come.

The researchers are calling on hospices in the West Midlands to participate in the project by shedding light on the experience of their patients and staff during the pandemic. The work will shape the future of care across the region and ultimately influence palliative medicine nationwide.

Dr John MacArtney, Senior Research Fellow at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands and the University of Warwick, said:

“Hospices across the country have had to radically adapt over the last 12 months, implementing huge changes, such as limits on visits, which have had a lasting impact on patients and their families and placed pressure on community services. While the pandemic was a once in a generation event, we know more people will die in future as our population ages. As such, we can learn lessons from the last year that can help improve care for dying people in the future.

“The West Midlands is the ideal place in which to explore these issues, with its diverse community and broad demographic population. I am delighted at the opportunities this funding offers the region and the chance to explore how hospices can continue to evolve in the wake of Covid-19.”

Dr Sabine Best, Head of Research at Marie Curie, said:

“We at Marie Curie are dedicated to ensuring everyone receives the care and support they need at the end of their lives. As a sector, we must learn, collectively and collaboratively, how best to support our communities through the challenges that may still be present long after the pandemic. We would be delighted to see as many hospices within the West Midlands lend their support to this project. This grant is a great success for one of our Marie Curie Research Fellows but also for the West Midlands – by working with other hospices in the region, we will gather the evidence to provide even better care for years to come.”

The grant of approximately £250,000 was awarded to the researchers by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19. Local hospices looking to take part in the project may express their interest by contacting the research team at the University of Warwick: icoh@warwick.ac.uk

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