The recent Hospice Care Week (9-15 October) celebrated hospice care nationwide, and the incredible work that is being done to make sure everyone can benefit from the very best end of life care.

Erika Lipscombe, CEO of Rowans Hospice

Erika Lipscombe tells us about the forthcoming national survey

Chair, Executive Clinical Leads in Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice Clinical Workforce Survey 2023


Hospice staff often find it to be the most rewarding and satisfying job of their career, supporting more than 300,000 people every year through the toughest of times.  

But the need for hospice care is growing. There aren’t enough people to fill the roles we need to look after dying patients and their families. Without people to fill these empty roles, hospices will struggle to keep providing the gold-standard end-of-life care everyone deserves. 

This November, we are running a survey to find out more about the current workforce situation in the hospice sector.  

With a focus on clinical workforce, we want to gather data that will help us learn more about the current establishment, looking at where there are gaps and how we can work with hospices to recruit and retain their amazing staff. The survey results will also help hospices to learn from each other where new models of care delivery are working well. 

Erika Lipscombe from Rowans Hospice in Hampshire is the Chair for the Executive Clinical Leads in Hospice and Palliative Care (ECLiHP) forum. Erika told us a bit more about the survey and why it’s so important.

What is the survey?


"This survey will collect data so we can gain a picture of the clinical workforce in hospices across the UK. Hospice UK carried out a ‘snap shot’ survey in February 2021, and we need to hear from hospices now to see what’s happening now, what’s changed, and what might be needed in future."

By gathering data from hospices, the survey will help us understand:

  • current clinical skill mix
  • establishment fill rates and patterns across the clinical workforce
  • vacancies
  • clinical turnover
  • stability of staffing
  • diversity of the work force
  • approaches to wellbeing
  • clinical career pathways and how hospices are attracting staff
  • the potential implications of changes to agenda for change across hospices

Why is it needed?


The survey will help us understand current challenges facing hospices and tell us how we can best support hospices to bring evidence to strategic discussions about clinical workforce.  

"One of the biggest challenges is recruitment and retention of staff so gaining an insight into what attracts people to work within the hospice sector and a solid understanding of people’s experiences within the sector is important."

Why should hospices take part?


Hospice UK will be sharing the results of the survey with hospices, providing important comparative data and learning about current innovations for workforce. It’s a great opportunity for hospices to understand how they fit in national patterns of nursing skill mix, comparing against hospices of similar scope and size. 

"If as many hospices as possible fill in the survey, we in Rowans Hospice like other hospices will be able to gain a picture of how we fair against current workforce challenges, where are we realistically, and what we need to consider as an organisation moving forward."

Having access to sector wide workforce data will also help hospices with their local influencing efforts.  

"It will be invaluable to be able to bring real data about workforce to discussions with our Integrated Care Board, so we can raise the profile of hospice workforce and contribute to wider clinical workforce discussions."

Anita Hayes, Head of Clinical Leadership at Hospice UK, said: "We know that, for some hospices, recruitment and retention of staff is a key challenge and we’re keen to understand what is currently happening in the sector and why.

"By collecting comprehensive, up-to-date information from the sector we can analyse the situation and collectively understand with hospices how we can address some of these challenges."

How can hospices take part?


Hospice UK will be launching the survey on 21 November 2023 and sharing it via email with clinical leads at hospices so they can submit their responses online. 

Clinical leads will likely have to work with colleagues at their hospices including data analysts and HR teams to help them gather and input their data.

A stock image from Pixabay showing an online survey

What can you do now to prepare for the survey?

Start speaking to your colleagues now to prepare for the survey’s arrival. Let them know it is coming, and that the data collection approach will allow for clinical leads to delegate specific forms to others within their hospice.   

Visit the Clinical Workforce Survey page to find out more about the scope of the survey. This is also where you will find the link to submit your response once it is live.  

Sign up to the ECLHiP bulletin to get updates about the survey and receive information when it is launched.