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Palliative care team from Paris inspired by visit to the Hospice

Courtyard bathed in sunshine at Pembury Hospice in the Weald

We were so pleased to welcome a team of nine staff from Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier, the biggest palliative care centre in France, to Hospice in the Weald in Pembury and Cottage Hospice in Five Ashes on 18th June. The visitors wanted to find out more about palliative care in the UK, with the aim of taking inspiration back to France.

Jeanne Garnier is a non-profit organisation that offers 81 in-patient beds, outpatient services and a day hospital. It is the most famous medical centre for palliative care in France and has a large consultant team working in four hospitals in Paris. Its scientific and education department, with interdisciplinary research team, trains healthcare professionals and volunteers.

Chief Executive Officer Emmanuelle Quillet, Chair of the Board Isabelle Lesage, and Anne de la Tour, Head Consultant and President of the Medical Commission, were accompanied by palliative care nurses, consultants, and researchers during their three-day visit to the UK. They were welcomed by Nick Farthing, Chief Executive and senior staff from Hospice in the Weald.

Kerry Norman, Head of In-patient Care, led tours of the pioneering Cottage Hospice and the ward at Pembury, and the visitors heard from Steph Hall, Head of Living Well, about the personalised support offered through the Hospice’s Living Well programme.

Jeanne Garnier Visit

During the event, Emmanuelle Quillet, said: “It is a pleasure to visit Hospice in the Weald and meet the team who have been very hospitable. We wanted to come because we feel it’s important to learn about and share palliative care nursing and practices. We had heard about Cottage Hospice and it is inspiring to find out more about the family caregiver model of care.

“It is more like a home than a hospital. That’s something we are interested in developing in Paris, so that families have the opportunity to be taken care of, as well as their loved ones. In France, palliative care is more hospital-centred than in Great Britain. Community care is certainly more developed in your country and very interesting to us.

“We would like to work with more GPs and nurses to develop care in the community in France. It’s been a short but valuable visit and what we have seen here is inspiring.”

Nick Farthing said: “It was a privilege to host the team from Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier and we are delighted that they have been inspired by our work here at Hospice in the Weald. It was also a fantastic opportunity to learn about their innovative work in Paris. Sharing knowledge helps us all to inform and improve the care we provide for those facing terminal illness and their families.”

Hospice in the Weald has been providing free care and support to those facing terminal illness and their families in west Kent and East Sussex for more than 40 years. Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier is named after the woman who created the first home for women dying alone in poverty. Garnier founded the Calvaire institution in 1842, which now manages Maison Médicale Jeanne Garnier.