People often don’t realise just how many Doctors are employed by a specialist service such as Strathcarron Hospice. We have five Consultants in Palliative Medicine, five Specialty Doctors and we usually have a trainee GP on a six-month placement and often a trainee Consultant too.  As well as looking after patients in the Hospice itself, our Doctors visit patients in their own homes and in Forth Valley Royal Hospital and provide advice to clinicians in primary care and in Hospitals across the communities we serve.

Our Doctors are involved in research and audit and are a key component of the Hospice’s ambition to always improve its services.  Teaching is also an important part of their role and across the UK the training of medical staff has been reviewed and palliative medicine is now a key component of the training of Doctors in general (internal) medicine. Over the next year the Hospice will have up to nine trainee doctors each for a two-week placement at the Hospice to learn more about palliative care.   In turn, Doctors who wish to specialise in palliative medicine will also have more experience of general medicine as well.

In future we will continue to work across Hospitals, community   and the Hospice itself to support more people within their own homes, including care homes. The aim is to help people to safely remain at home and to reduce unwanted acute hospital admissions and also to support earlier discharge from Hospital.  The Hospice has a strong history of working across different care settings and in people’s own homes and this has been accelerated during the pandemic, and we now expect this to be the “new normal”.