A collaborative partnership of 8 adult hospices and 2 children’s hospices in Greater Manchester aimed to speak with a collective voice in the newly devolved health and social care system.

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Project and outcomes


Project overview

In 2014 it became clear that hospices in Greater Manchester needed to speak with a collective voice in the newly devolved health and social care system. The collaborative aimed to be ‘louder and prouder’ about the value of hospices, become a core part of the emerging strategy for palliative and end of life care in Greater Manchester and secure more sustainable funding.


Having a collaborative approach and being able to share knowledge has been beneficial to all hospices involved, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The collaborative has gained more influence than would have been possible for individual hospices and been able to input into the development of Greater Manchester’s strategy for palliative and end of life care. It has worked closely with the local Strategic Clinical Network and has a place at the weekly meetings with system partners as well engagement with the Integrated Care Board.

The collaborative has been able to demonstrate that hospices contribute more to the Greater Manchester society than just health care, for example by harnessing volunteers and linking up with the wider community through charity shops.

Facilitators, challenges and advice


Key facilitators

Having terms of reference and a memorandum of association in place from an early stage has helped make sure all hospices have the same understanding of the aims and purpose of the collaboration. It also meant that the collaborative could receive funds. 

Regular meetings have helped the collaborative keep momentum. The collaborative now employs a dedicated project manager, who has been able to drive objectives forward.

Building relationships with key people in Greater Manchester enabled the collaborative to develop a network of allies who can advocate for hospices in strategic meetings.


Hospices were all at different starting points and everybody in the collaborative needed to respect each other’s concerns and priorities. 

It’s been important to find a balance between speaking with a unified voice and maintaining each hospice’s independent voice. 

The collaborative has worked hard on ensuring it is able to collect, analyse and present data to evidence the impact of hospices. This has involved standardising reporting measures.

Tips and advice


Be truly inclusive with no one hospice dominating the agenda – this helps to build trust. Make sure everyone has ‘skin in the game’ by committing to a financial contribution. 

Recognise each hospice’s individual challenges, which can impact the speed of progress.

Agree your terms of reference and memorandum of understanding – and agree a business plan based on this.

Employ a project manager to drive the business plan forward. Share the employer role and line manager role between two different hospices.

Commit to meeting monthly to maintain momentum, and commit to an annual strategic planning day.

Future development


The collaborative is now recognising other areas where it would be beneficial to work together. For example, some hospices are now sharing job posts and there is an ongoing project to share resources and reduce duplication when training staff and volunteers.