19 September 2016

AGM focuses on importance of community based care

Rennie Grove AGM 2016On Thursday 15 September members, local dignitaries, supporters and staff of Rennie Grove Hospice Care gathered for the charity’s Annual General Meeting at Chartridge Park Golf Club near Chesham.

In addition to the formal business of the evening, the meeting welcomed guest speaker Dr Vincent Mak, a Consultant Respiratory Physician in Integrated Care.  Dr Mak spoke about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and his work to provide community based care for patients with this disease.  Currently COPD is the sixth highest cause of mortality in the country and by 2020 it is predicted that it will be the third highest.  Despite this prevalence, only about 33% of patients with the disease are currently diagnosed.   Dr Mak pointed to research by our own Consultant in Palliative Care, Dr Neil Pender, which shows that the physical symptoms for COPD are about the same as for lung cancer, but palliative care is not always provided in the same way for COPD as it is for cancer.  

Dr Mak identified that 49% of patients with COPD currently have no regular check-up and that end-of-life discussions rarely occur, resulting in two thirds of patients with COPD dying in hospital.  He then highlighted the need for proper integrated care in the community with a true patient-centred approach to provide seamless, co-ordinated care with multi-disciplinary teams talking to each other and using technology  like “Co-ordinate my care” to help people live longer with an improved quality of life.   He rounded up his presentation with a quote from Cicely Saunders; “How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.”

Rennie Grove’s Chair of Trustees, Professor Stephen Spiro reflected on Rennie Grove’s own philosophy of patient-centred care and the challenges for the future as the population ages with more complex symptoms and with restricted funding.  Chief Executive, Jenny Provin, then cited some key figures and gave some moving examples of how the Rennie Grove service makes a difference to patients and families in the local community.  

Chris Langford, the charity’s Treasurer, then presented the Accounts and the formal business was concluded. The meeting was also attended by one of the charity's Joint Presidents, Dr Mary Groves.

See the 2015-16 Annual Review and Accounts.