KESS 2 participant Nicole Hughes publishes paper in BMC Palliative Care journal

BMC Palliative Care JournalNicole Marie Hughes, a Bangor University KESS 2 PhD student, has successfully achieved publication within the BMC Palliative Care journal. Nicole has been working in conjunction with four North Wales hospices; Hospice at Home (Gwynedd and Anglesey), St David’s Hospice (Llandudno), St Kentigern Hospice (St Asaph) and Nightingale House (Wrexham) to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the effects hospices have on important stakeholders.  Hospices provide care for patients suffering from terminally ill and life-limiting conditions and their family caregivers. However, the hospices go beyond just the management of medicines, pain and symptoms to care for the patient and their family as a unit in a holistic way; providing opportunities for social, spiritual and wellbeing support.

Unfortunately, due to stretched financial resources, and high demand due to an ageing population, hospices are under increasing pressure. As such, there is a necessity for hospices to demonstrate the value of their activities in a way which resonates with potential funders. This PhD utilises a Social Return on Investment (SROI) framework to not only account for the economic value of hospices but to also demonstrate their social and environmental impact. The published systematic review is but one component of the SROI and is the first step in identifying patient and family preferences. By placing key stakeholders such as patients and family-caregivers at the centre of this process, this framework offers a greater understanding of how people are affected by hospice activities and the value they place on the services. Doing so will facilitate a deeper understanding of the wider implications and value of Hospices in North Wales, help the advancement of interventions and supportive services and deliver a point of reference for hospices to promote their impact and attract future funding.

Nicole’s PhD research project is supported by KESS 2 European Social Funds (ESF) through the Welsh Government and by company sponsors Hospice at Home Gwynedd and Anglesey (Jayne Emsley), St David’s Hospice (Tristan Pritchard), St Kentigern Hospice (Iain Mitchell) and Nightingale House (Steve Parry). The project is an industry-based collaboration with a supervisory team based at Bangor University (Professor Jane Noyes and Dr Julia Wardaugh).

The full published paper entitled What do patients and family-caregivers value from hospice care? A systematic mixed studies review” can be viewed here: