A hand to hold. A listening ear. The presence of another person. These simple things become invaluable in the final days and hours of life.

A hand to hold. A listening ear. The presence of another person. These simple things become invaluable in the final days and hours of life. featured image

Too many people die alone, with no friends or family at their side.

The Anne Robson Trust’s vision is that everyone receives the compassion and companionship they wish for at the end of their life.

Overstretched resources in care settings, combined with an increasing number of deaths in England and Wales (approaching 600,000 per year) have led to severely compromised end of life care. Even with Covid restrictions relaxed, far too many people spend the final days of their life alone and scared, without the companionship of another person.

Just under 50% of deaths occur in hospital, many with no visitors at all. Busy ward staff and specialist palliative care teams do their very best to try to ensure that every patient has the best care in the last days of their life. The reality is that often this doesn’t happen due to overstretched staff, and, as mentioned previously, the sheer number of people who are dying in hospital.

While many services exist to support those who are bereaved, there is very little support available to help people cope in the period before someone dies.

Our aim is to work with as many NHS trusts as we can to provide this support for people who are dying, and for their visitors. We also know that the service provides much needed support to ward staff. They would like to have the time to sit with patients who they know are dying, but in reality they just can’t. To have a team of specialist volunteers to call on makes the world of difference to them.

We are working with 18 NHS Trusts, helping them set up and run teams of ‘end of life’ volunteers.
11 active teams in acute trusts
2 community trusts in set up stage
5 acute trusts in set up stage
10+ more organisations looking to work with us

To date we have enabled 10,800 patients & their visitors to receive support in the last days of their

In the last year we have trained 7* ‘End of Life’ Volunteer Coordinators, and helped embed and deliver training for 200 specialist volunteers.

Since 2021, we have received over 6,500 webpage views for information and resources designed to help health professionals.

Hospitals that have active teams of ‘end of life’ volunteers have reported a noticeable reduction in end of life related complaints. Families feel cared for once the volunteers start providing support to them, as they have that most precious commodity – time – something that staff simply don’t have.

You can read and download the comprehensive project document HERE

You can download the  End of Life Volunteer Leaflet HERE

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