Today marks the start of Hospice Care Week.  Along with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, which took place on 8 October, it provides an invaluable opportunity to celebrate the importance of hospice and palliative care for everyone.  It also raises awareness and understanding of the needs of people and their families living with a life limiting cancer diagnosis.

Hospice care is a vital part of health care following a cancer diagnosis, and a patient is often able to receive care and treatment to assist with symptoms such as pain and psychological difficulties.  Their families can often benefit from respite care, and hospice care ensures that a patient’s quality of life is always improved.

Following the Covid-19 lockdowns, hospices have been struggling financially with falling incomes as a result of reduced donations and the cancelling of fund-raising events due to the impact of the pandemic.  It's therefore important that we highlight the need for people to support their local hospices as well as turn to them in times of need.

Recovery of hospice costs 

At Irwin Mitchell, I have experienced the important role that hospice and palliative care plays in someone’s pathway following a cancer diagnosis and the benefits that a hospice can receive following the conclusion of a civil claim where a client has been exposed to asbestos, developed mesothelioma and received vital care from a hospice.

Our London team previously recovered more than £19,000.00 for three local hospices.  The sum of £7,072 was recovered for Isabel Hospice in Hertfordshire, £1,444.80 for Rennie Grove Hospice in St Albans and £10,919.25 for St. Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley, following the death of three men from mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.  Thankfully, due to a previous landmark judgment secured by Irwin Mitchell and concluding the cases successfully, we were able to recover £19,436 for the vital help and assistance the men and their families received from their respective hospices.

My colleagues Satpal Singh and Lacey James and I represented these clients. Satpal said: “Sadly our clients were not able to see the successful outcomes of their cases but we know it means a lot to the families, not just to secure justice for their loved ones, but to recover costs for the hospice too.

Since 2020, the Irwin Mitchell London office alone has recovered more than £121,000 to support the work of hospices, and Irwin Mitchell has recovered more than £500,000 nationally.

Funding for hospices in the future 

Tracey Hancock, the Director of Fund-raising at Rennie Grove Hospice in St Albans, said: “We’re very grateful to Irwin Mitchell solicitors for securing these funds for the family to contribute to the charity to help with the significant cost of providing our service.

“As a charity, we rely on the support of the local community to fund 87% of our annual running costs, which means we have to raise an ever-increasing amount each year to provide care for local people with life-limiting illnesses. Medical health insurance claims are another way which families can use to support us to continue providing our specialist care in the community.”

I hope that through civil claims and the fundraising activities that I regularly participate in with my colleagues at Irwin Mitchell that we will continue to help increase funding for hospices to provide care and support to people now and in the future.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families affected by mesothelioma and other diseases at our dedicated asbestos-related disease section.