We can learn from Ardgowan Hospice

20th September, 2015

We can learn from Ardgowan Hospice

Ardgowan Hospice has been a cornerstone of the Inverclyde community for over thirty years providing high quality care to people at the end of their lives. The first class service provided by its staff and volunteers is to be commended. Their focus on choice for patients and personalised care has made such a positive difference to people in Inverclyde and their families.

I’m glad therefore that today members of the Scottish Parliament’s Health Committee will get to see the hospice’s fantastic services first hand. The visit is part of the committee’s current inquiry into the provision and availability of end-of-life and palliative care. The inquiry is all about finding out about people’s experiences and making sure everyone that needs access to high quality palliative care receives it.

During the visit we will speak with the staff, the volunteers and patients and hear about the support that is provided through the hospice’s day care centre. For the committee to see the hospice in action will be invaluable and will lead to a real understanding of how their high standards of care can be replicated throughout country.

During the initial stages of our inquiry we have heard that there are serious deficits in the quality of palliative care being provided for throughout Scotland. Indeed, a report prepared for the health committee by Prof David Clark of Glasgow University, has estimated that 10,000 people die in Scotland each year without appropriate end-of-life care. It’s clear that things need to change and I hope this visit and the committee’s inquiry will be the start of that process.