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  • BMC PC Charitable hospices AAM 4.10.22

    Accepted author manuscript, 91.9 KB, Word document

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  • Table 1 - Demographic Information of Responding Organisations

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  • Table 3 - Key Issues Facing Charitable Hospices

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  • Table 2 - Contextual Information of the Five Organisations

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Charitably funded hospices and the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic: A mixed-methods study (CovPall)

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number176
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/10/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Palliative Care
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Independent charitably funded hospices have been an important element of the UK healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospices usually have different funding streams, procurement processes, and governance arrangements compared to NHS provision, which may affect their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study is to understand the challenges faced by charitably funded hospices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Eligible Organisations providing specialist palliative or hospice care completed the online CovPall survey (2020) which explored their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible organisations were then purposively selected to participate in interviews as part of qualitative case studies (2020-21) to understand challenges in more depth. Free-text responses from the survey were analysed using content analysis and were categorised accordingly. These categorisations were used a priori for a reflexive thematic analysis of interview data.

Results: 143 UK independent charitably funded hospices completed the online CovPall survey. Five hospices subsequently participated in qualitative case studies (n = 24 staff interviews). Key themes include: vulnerabilities
of funding; infection control during patient care; and bereavement support provision. Interviewees discussed the fragility of income due to fundraising events stopping; the difficulties of providing care to COVID-19 and non- COVID-19 patients within relatively small organisations; and challenges with maintaining the quality of bereavement services.

Conclusion: Some unique care and provision challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic were highlighted by charitably funded hospices. Funding core services charitably and independently may affect their ability to respond to pandemics, or scenarios where resources are unexpectedly insufficient.

Keywords: Charitably funded Hospice, COVID-19 Pandemic, Mixed-Methods Research, Funding constraints.