Yesterday, I was absolutely delighted to Chair a webinar alongside staff and volunteers at the charity Marie Curie. Alongside academics at the University of Warwick, Marie Curie commissioned an academic study into the impact of Covid-19 on Hospices across the West Midlands. Of course, Marie Curie’s West Midlands Hospice is based locally in Solihull off the Warwick Road, and I know that a number of constituents work and volunteer at the Hospice, so I am absolutely of the view that this research and its findings will be warmly welcomed by residents.
I pay tribute to the people of the West Midlands who went through so much during the Covid-19 pandemic and especially to local hospice staff who made heroic efforts to care for people with a terminal illness and their families in very challenging circumstances. The Government has just introduced the first-ever legal duty to commission palliative care services in the history of the NHS. I hope this will help hospices continue their vital work to ensure local people and their families have all the care and support they need at the end of their lives.
The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated to us just how much we value connections with other people. And, towards the end of life, these connections are more important than ever. The study has analysed how Hospices responded to the pandemic and how they diligently carried on providing frontline palliative care for those at the end of life. I have attached the full report below should anyone wish to look into the report in more detail: