Helping patients: St Catherine’s Hospice announces new innovative research programme

Plans to boost patient care by harnessing latest research have been announced by St Catherine’s Hospice at Lostock Hall.
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The hospice, a charity which serves central Lancashire area, has unveiled ambitious plans to become a research-leading hospice in collaboration with top Lancashire academics and institutions.

The innovative work is being steered by a newly-formed research sub-committee at the hospice.

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The sub-committee says its “driving force” is improved care for patients and their loved ones.

Dr Andrew Fletcher, Medical Director at St Catherine's Hospice, Lostock HallDr Andrew Fletcher, Medical Director at St Catherine's Hospice, Lostock Hall
Dr Andrew Fletcher, Medical Director at St Catherine's Hospice, Lostock Hall

Topics being explored by researchers include innovation and connectivity to help with remote treatment and support. In addition researchers are investigating the importance and impact of nature in the hospice environment and how that might improve patient experience.

Dr Andrew Fletcher, Medical Director at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We envisage a lot of our work being qualitative research, which suits the nature of palliative care, but we are also keen to embrace appropriate opportunities for clinical trials focused on new drugs, treatments or devices.

“At St Catherine’s we are committed to continuously improving experiences for the patients and families we care for. We do this through developing our services and through education and training. Going forward our research programme will be another component in how we achieve this.”

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The research sub-committee is chaired by St Catherine’s trustee Professor StJohn Crean, Pro Vice Chancellor (Clinical) at the University of Central Lancashire. Also on the committee are staff from: the research and innovation team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals; the Innovation Agency; the research and development team at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust; data science experts from UCLan; St Catherine’s clinical educators and the hospice’s Chief Executive Lynn Kelly.

St Catherine's Hospice provides highly specialised palliative and end-of-life care at thehospice and in people’s own homes. The hospice teams also offer emotional support to patients, their loved ones and the wider community – including offering bereavement support and advice for carers. It states: “Our vision is to help those facing conditions like cancer, heart failure, respiratory disease and motor neurone disease to have quality of life, to the end of life. Our values are caring, compassionate and committed.”


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