St Christopher’s believes people matter.
Every person who comes into contact with the hospice, whatever their background or circumstance, will receive the care and support that is best for them. After all, each person is unique.
We aim to help people live well until they die, and support those affected by the death of someone close.
St Christopher’s was the world’s first modern hospice when established by Dame Cicely Saunders over 50 years ago.
Cicely strongly believed a holistic approach needed to be taken and her focus on caring for a patient’s physical, spiritual and psychological wellbeing marked a new beginning for the care of the dying.
Her words: "You matter because you are you and you matter to the last moment of your life" still ring true today.
St Christopher’s faces significant challenges in the coming years as, each year, growing numbers of people need our services.
We’ve been focussing on how we can best meet the changing needs of those we serve.
Whether it’s improving services for people living with conditions such as frailty and heart failure who previously had limited access to hospice services, or developing regular and sustainable income streams so we’re able to continue providing our care well into the future.
We continue to focus on meeting the changing needs of people living with complex conditions, such as frailty and heart failure who often do not have the opportunity to benefit from the life-enhancing services that hospices offer, nor to consider their wishes for the end of life.
There is expected to be an increase of over 40% in the number of people who will need end of life care in England and Wales by 2040 as people are living longer and with more complex conditions that require symptom relief and specialist care.
Over the last few years we have felt this increase in demand as the number of people we support continues to rise steadily.
One of Dame Cicely’s founding principles on establishing St Christopher’s over 50 years ago was an ongoing commitment to education and research.
We continually strive to make sure we maintain our high standards of care.
At St Christopher’s we know that it’s not always easy to talk about dying and loss but, as a hospice, it’s our responsibility to encourage people to speak openly about these issues and dispel myths around hospice care.
This year we continued fundraising efforts for our new Learning Hub so that many more people – clinicians, members of the public, family, carers and people with a life-limiting condition – can gain new knowledge and skills to cope with end of life issues.