Our definition of hospice care

Caring within a hospice

Every hospice across the UK was founded to respond to the needs of the community it serves, and continues to develop in order to meet these changing needs.

As a result of its history and geography, each hospice will offer a unique range of services. This wonderful variety gives the hospice movement vibrancy and strength.

As we go forward, it is vital for us to understand and articulate why we believe hospice care is so special, how it differs from any other end of life care and why it should be sustained and developed so that it reaches everyone who needs it.

In offering our definition of hospice care, we are aware that there are multiple definitions of the term, as there are for the related concepts of ‘palliative care’, ‘end of life care’ and ‘supportive care’. For the hospice movement it means the following:

“Hospice care aims to affirm life and death. It means working with and within local communities to tailor palliative care around the needs of each adult and child with a terminal or life-shortening condition, whatever that may be, and extends to supporting their carers, friends and family before and after bereavement.
"Hospice care is provided by multi-disciplinary teams of staff and volunteers who offer expert support that places equal emphasis on someone’s clinical, physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs with the understanding that everyone will be different.”

What does hospice care mean to you?