As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday it’s a good time to celebrate Strathcarron Hospice’s working relationship with the NHS. The Hospice’s catchment area covers all of the NHS Forth Valley area as well as part of NHS Lanarkshire.

Strathcarron Hospice is a charity and is independent of the NHS – indeed the modern hospice movement was a result of many people feeling dissatisfied with the way people who were dying were cared for in the NHS, which was very focussed on curing people and less certain about how to support people who could not be cured.

We work closely with the NHS: all our patients are referred to us by the NHS, usually by GPs. We provide expert advice support and direct care for patients who need specialist palliative care and this includes one of our Palliative Medicine Consultants doing ward rounds in Forth Valley Royal Hospital. We support patients with the most complex needs, and many patients are transferred directly from NHS hospitals when they need our expertise. We can access NHS patient records and test results to ensure that we all have the most up to date information about each patient. We work closely with Community Nurses and GPs as well as hospital staff.

We also benefit from NHS expert support on matters such as pharmacology, microbiology, infection control and medical revalidation. When required we can seek specialist occupational health and HR advice and we give confidential bereavement support to NHS staff. We can access NHS buying contracts and they process our payroll, both of which reduce our costs. Our services complement and support the NHS and in turn they support us to provide these services. We have a contract with the NHS and they provide about £2.5million of our income, still leaving us to raise a further £4.5million ourselves!