New support for people who are homeless & terminally ill

31 May 2018

Porchlight & Pilgrims Hospices are developing palliative care for homeless people

People who are homeless and terminally ill can struggle to get the support they need. We're working with Pilgrims Hospice to address these issues.

We’re jointly developing a specialist palliative care service for people living in one of our hostels or sleeping on the streets.

Because their needs are often more complex than a typical hospice patient, Porchlight and Pilgrims are bringing their expertise together. The aim is to ensure people nearing the end of their life receive the compassionate health and social care they deserve.

“Thankfully, the need for this type of support is rare but this partnership will be useful to those few who, sadly, will need palliative care,” says Porchlight director of operations Chris Coffey.

“We look forward to working with and learning from colleagues at Pilgrims and organisations like St Mungo’s who are heading up new approaches in this area.”

Pilgrims Hospice wants to be sure its expertise in supporting people with terminal illness gets to everyone that needs it, says Pilgrims Hospice CEO Cate Russell.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Porchlight; the special relationships and trust that their teams have forged with people who live on the street, gives us a means to reach out and share skills and insights that could make the all the difference to how comfortable someone is in their final days.

“It is our mission to take hospice care ‘outside of the hospice walls ’. We want to be sure we are here for everyone in our community who needs our care and this sharing of resource is key to our being able to achieve our aim.”

The first steps towards this project took place at a Palliative Care for Homeless People workshop at Pilgrims Hospice in Canterbury. Staff from Pilgrims, Porchlight and the NHS attended to discuss their various specialisms and how these can be combined. 

Guest speakers from St Mungo's shared research from a similar project they operate in London.