The SHaWL network was created with support from Hospice UK to provide a strategic HR voice and advance the role of HR within hospice and palliative care.

Find out about its history, aims, work streams, Executive members and dates of upcoming meetings.

About the group


Workforce planning and development are critical strategic challenges common to all hospices, and we must ensure that we are able to continue to meet growing demand for services and the changing nature of that demand in the future. We know this from our own daily experiences and from the findings of the Commission into Hospice Care.

The capacity and capability of HR to deliver day-to-day workforce needs as well as to meet the future workforce challenges varies hugely across the Hospice sector. We know this from surveys and discussion groups undertaken with Hospice UK and HR leaders.

We therefore face a dual challenge. Firstly, to look at the national strategic direction of the workforce fit for the future; and secondly, to ensure the most effective HR capability to build and support this workforce at a regional and local level.

You can read more about the background of the national focus on workforce below.



SHaWL was created with support from Hospice UK to:

  • Provide a strategic and HR voice within the field of hospice and palliative care.
  • Advance the role of HR within hospice and palliative care
  • Work with ECLiHP (Executive Clinical Leads in Hospice and Palliative Care) and NHEC (National Hospice Education Collaborative) colleagues and any other relevant group to support workforce planning and development
  • Provide a clear voice relating to workforce perspectives of service, planning and delivery, and engaging in constructive lobbying as necessary.    
  • Be a key reference point for hospice and palliative care colleagues on strategic HR issues, workforce planning and development
  • Provide support in developing HR and other leaders in the hospice and palliative care sector

Initial steps


To deliver these aims, we draw on existing expertise within the sector and the wider HR network.

This will cover work and activity such as:

  • Looking at what national and strategic activity needs to be developed to address the workforce challenges that hospice care faces now and in the future
  • Developing or reinforcing the regional HR networks and ensuring an effective link across networks and between each region and the national group
  • Building the case for effective, strategic HR and develop the models and competencies needed to best deliver workforce solutions
  • Identifying, promoting or developing tools and sources of expertise and good practice
  • Facilitating networking, coaching, peer support and learning tools, sessions or masterclasses

Establishing work streams (March 2017)


SHaWL established seven work streams on 3 March 2017 to work on ahead of the subsequent meeting. Three of these were joint projects with ECiHP.

They are:

SHaWL workstreams

  1. Mentoring programme for the Hospice HR community (Leads: Davina, Jaci and Jane)
  2. HR in the hospice (Leads: Alan, Lisa)
  3. HR: strategic thinking and beyond the hospice (Leads: Deborah, Gillian, Matt)
  4. Steps Ahead and support for Carers (Leads: Annette, Matt)

Work streams agreed in joint session with ECLiHP

  1. Data for workforce and patients (Leads: Alan, Davina, Jaci, Jane plus a request to any others to register interest)
  2. Strategic Workforce Planning (Leads: Matt plus TBC)
  3. Leadership and management (Leads: Emma, Jaci, Annette plus a request to any others to register interest-Annette, Julie Huttley (ECLiHP)

The networks also recommended national projects around recruitment to the sector (including the Employee Value Proposition) and Planning for the future-the new models needed for hospice care and the core skills for the workforce, which are currently being explored at Hospice UK.

Executive group


Within the SHaWL terms of reference (as with ECLiHP and the Hospice UK Advisory Council) the regional representative is voted on to the Executive by local regional members.

However, as we are only aware of four established HR regional networks it was important to launch the network regardless of the geographical spread, and support its incremental growth over time.

SHaWL Terms of Reference

Download the SHaWL terms of reference.

Aims of the Executive group


The aims of the Executive group include:

  • to grow strong supportive collegial relationships within their region, developing areas of expertise and regional interests
  • to build up the existing HR networks or develop new ones
  • to ensure there is clear engagement between local and national levels
  • to ensure the direction of the work programme determined by the Exec is informed by regional issues which would benefit from national attention.

The ultimate aim is for the Executive group to guide and engage at a national level a wider network of HR and workforce expertise to meet the stated aims around HR capability and workforce development.

As the work programme develops there will be a need to reach out to those who have specialist interest or skills that can support in the delivery of planned activity. More communication on this will follow as the work programme planning develops.

Executive group members


Members and contact details:

Region Name, role Organisation Email
North East Deborah Heron (Chair),
Director of People
St Oswald's Hospice
South East Coast Jaci Curtis-Donnelly (Deputy Chair),
Director of HR & Volunteer Services
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice
East of England Irene Ferguson Farleigh Hospice
London Mandy Piper- Killick,
Director of People & Organisational Development
St Christopher’s 
South and South Central Vacancy being covered by Rozina Ahmed Rennie Grove and Peace Hospice Care
Scotland Shona Dougal Ayrshire Hospice
South West Vacancy, covered by Verity Hill Cornwall Hospice  
West Midlands Gerry Crow,
Business Development Officer / Legacies Officer
Birmingham, St Mary's Hospice  
Yorkshire and Humberside Lindsay Hamer,
Head of HR
The Prince of Wales Hospice
Hospice UK representatives and support Anita Hayes, Head of Clinical Leadership
Roneeta Patel, HR Manager
Hospice UK 

East Midlands Vacancy    
North West Vacancy    
Northern Ireland Christopher Perry Northern Ireland Hospice
Wales Vacancy    


List of Members

Download a list of members (updated September 2022).

Communication and engagement


The key link is the communication between the representatives of the group and the regional HR networks.

There is a dedicated webpage on the Hospice UK website and the group will use Hospice UK’s social media channels, and other channels as appropriate.