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February 2024 newsletter

Welcome to the February 2024 newsletter from Supportive Care UK. We've had a great start to the year and there's more to come; here's what's been going on.

We're delighted to welcome two more hospices into the SCUK family, both of which are working with us on an ad-hoc basis to fill gaps in their service.

We're providing out-of-hours services for Dorothy House, a hospice in Bradford-on-Avon, helping to pick up the slack when consultants are ill or on holiday.

We're also supporting Harlington Hospice in Hayes, providing daytime telephone support at times when they don't have the right level of consultant cover.

These flexible contracts are proving to be really useful for hospices and other palliative care providers, offering a safety net for times when their services are stretched. If you would like to explore something similar for your organisation, please get in touch and we'll chat the options through.

We've grown so much in the last few years that we felt we needed to expand our small but mighty team. So we've recruited two experienced new people to join us.Lucy Flynn has come from Beyond Corporate to be our Legal Director. She will be leading our legal and HR activity, making sure we have dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. You can read more about Lucy in our spotlight below.Bal Gil is an experienced Clinical Nurse Specialist who will be leading our new supportive and palliative care provision at The Harborne Hospital in Birmingham. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting new venture.Welcome to you both – we're so pleased to have you on board.

Having successfully established an integrated supportive and palliative care service at The Christie in Manchester, we are now replicating the model at a second location, The Harborne Hospital in Birmingham.The hospital has just opened, so we've been able to build our provision from scratch, and make sure everything is properly set up and designed in. It's the ideal way to create a high-quality, 24/7 service that will deliver for all the hospital's patients. Our new recruit Bal Gil will be leading our work at the Harborne, supported by colleagues Dr Richard Alleyne and Dr Esther Waterhouse. We'll keep you updated with how our plans are progressing.

In January, we ran the first session of our Medical Leadership Programme, a new, year-long venture designed to create a community of emerging leaders, and upskill and inspire them to perform confidently in their roles.This introductory session saw the six participants coming together with Professors Matt Makin and Derek Willis to explore what good leadership looks like. They also discussed what they're hoping to get from the course; we're now using those insights to design bespoke follow-up sessions that match each individual's needs.It was brilliant to watch our participants throw themselves into the programme, and start forming good working relationships with each other. One of our aims is to help them establish a mutually supportive learning community, and they've certainly made a great start.

We know how important it is for palliative care professionals to keep up with new developments across the sector. So we've created the Education Curriculum, a series of training and knowledge modules, delivered remotely by our expert consultants.The curriculum is aimed at doctors and senior nurses who are in regular contact with specialist palliative care patients. It covers 24 topics including communication, symptom control, and other specialist areas.We offer both a subscription and a pay-as-you-go version of the programme, so you can choose the model which best matches your staff and training budgets.If you'd like to take part, it's not too late; please sign up here before the end of February. Or, if you'd like to know a little more first, you can get in touch with our CEO Charlotte Healey, who would be happy to talk it through with you.