Developing National Standards for Hospice-at-home Services

George Bell, Kay Greene, John Hunt, Sue Varvel

  • Abstract

    There is minimal consensus regarding what constitutes hospice home care and hospice-at-home services. Such services have developed in an ad-hoc manner since the concept of hospice care at home was originally conceived by the Sisters of Charity at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, and then more formally developed by St Christopher’s Hospice, London. Lack of uniformity means no single definition or model of hospice-at-home services exists. Therefore, many variations occur in the characteristics of service design and delivery across the UK, Europe and internationally. This article describes the process undertaken by the National Association for Hospice at Home (NAHH) to develop a set of national standards for hospice-at-home services. The NAHH is a membership body that supports colleagues from existing or emerging hospice-at-home services. It is hoped that national standards will provide evidence underpinning the breadth, quality and outcomes of hospice-at-home services across the UK, facilitating choice and enabling home death where it is preferred. Furthermore, it is hoped that national standards will stimulate discussion and debate and promote wider understanding of what services (known generically as hospice at home) provide, while informing future service development. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Contributors

    George Bell, Kay Greene, John Hunt, Sue Varvel


    Correct at article publish date

    George Bell, Director, Petal Training and Consultancy, Houghton-le-spring, Tyne & Wear, Kay Greene, Community Palliative Care Team Manager, St Giles Hospice, Whittington, Staffordshire, John Hunt, Director of Care Services Development, The Norfolk Hospice, Snettisham, King’s Lynn, Sue Varvel, Director of Nursing and Clinical Services, Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care, Tring, Hertfordshire. Email:

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/01/2013
    • Volume: 3
    • Issue: 1

    Permissions: © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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