An innovative service offering bereavement support to families of organ donors has earned Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People a national award.
Martin House has won the Innovation in Partnership Working Award in the Hospice UK Awards for its work with the Yorkshire Organ Donation Service.
The hospice agreed to start accepting families of child organ donors, giving them the chance to use its cooled bedrooms following the death of a child, along with its bereavement support, which includes individual counselling and support groups for parents, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.
It came from a recognition from the organ donation service that families of child organ donors needed more bereavement support than it could offer, and for a longer period of time.
Martin Warhurst, chief executive of Martin House, said: “We’re honoured that our innovative collaboration with the organ donation service has been recognised by Hospice UK.
“It’s a testament to the dedication of our care team, and their ability respond to the needs of families, and to work with other organisations to meet that need.
“Most importantly, this award recognises the fact this partnership has enabled us to support more families when they needed our care.”
Martin House cares for children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across West, North and East Yorkshire – and their families. It also offers bereavement support to families who have used Martin House, and to families who have lost a child to a sudden or traumatic death.
Staff from both organisations received joint training to ensure they worked collaboratively, with hospice staff trained on the organ donation process, and specialist organ donation nurses visiting Martin House to learn more about its cooled bedrooms and bereavement support.
The scheme was praised by award judges for its “creativity” and for “reaching families who would otherwise not have had any contact with hospice care…so extending the reach of hospice care”.
The Hospice UK Awards supported by The National Garden Scheme and now in their eighth year, aim to recognise the huge contribution that both individuals and innovative programmes have made to hospice and palliative care in communities across the UK.
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, said: “Our awards celebrate the amazing people and innovative projects that have made such a big difference to the support provided by hospice and palliative care providers to people with life-limiting conditions.”
Picture caption: Martin Warhurst, chief executive of Martin House, (third left) receiving the Innovation in Partnership Working Award from Tracey Bleakley, CEO of Hospice UK, Martin McMillan, Chair of NGS and Lord Howard of Lympne, outgoing chair of Hospice UK.