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Care provider drops ‘hospice’ from title to ease patient fears

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A hospice provider says it is one of the first in the UK to drop the word “hospice” from its name, in order to challenge fear and misconceptions about its services.

Wolverhampton-based Compton Care – formerly known as Compton Hospice – said it had made the decision based on feedback from patients, families and healthcare professionals, which found many associated the word “hospice” with “a place you go to die”.

“We’re on a mission to remove this fear and break down barriers to service access”

Claire Marshall

The charity said this negative perception was deterring people from accessing care and meant healthcare professionals were only making referrals in the final days and weeks of a person’s life.

The charity provides a wide range of free services to an area spanning Wolverhampton, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire including inpatient and day care, nursing at home, lymphoedema clinics, social work and bereavement support.

The change in name is part of a new strategy that includes a £2.5m investment to improve co-ordination of patient care and ensure people access services earlier and for longer.

Compton Care chief executive Claire Marshall said the strategy and new identity was an “exciting step” for the charity.

Compton Care

Claire Marshall

Claire Marshall

“Our research with patients, families and supporters highlighted key challenges surrounding access to hospice care – namely fear about who we are and what being referred to us means,” she said.

She added: “We’re on a mission to remove this fear and break down barriers to service access to ensure more patients get referred to us earlier, so we can treat them sooner and help them live better lives.”

The £2.5m investment includes £1.5m donated by former workers from tyre giant Goodyear, which last year closed its Wolverhampton plant.

It will go towards creating a new care co-ordination centre at one of the charity’s two sites in Wolverhampton, with work on the major expansion due to start later this year.

The new facility, which is designed to bring together the charity’s range of support services together under one roof, creating a single point of access for families and healthcare professions, is due to open in spring or summer next year.

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