Scotland is known for its friendliness and compassion, its kindness and good humour. Perhaps a lesser known fact is that this compassion transfers to every aspect of what we do. Glasgow’s Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice is a prime example of exactly this.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that business might not be the first place you’d expect to find unbounding kindness. However, Anne Hattie, the Director of Operations and Deputy Chief Executive of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow, knows more than anyone the importance of kindness and generosity to their mission.
Nestled in the city’s famous Bellahouston park is a building bursting with compassion. From the open plan layout, the huge windows, the people who work there and those that give up their time to fundraise – everything about the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice screams kindness. Even the site itself was a gift to the trust from Glasgow City Council – it is kindness like this that allows this world class facility to exist.
And thank goodness that it does.
The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice is a charity which looks after the palliative care needs of people living in and around Greater Glasgow. The site in Bellahouston park is a state of the art, innovative facility which puts person-centred care at the forefront of its design.
"Having access to Bellahouston Park allows our patients and their families to experience and enjoy the outdoors whenever they wish to. Each patient bedroom has patio doors which open to the outdoors and every room in the hospice has a view to the outside".
The Hospice uses the Scandinavian Sengetun model of care, which focuses on things like changes in technology, new models of care and patient and family focus on the wards. As part of this, the aim of the Hospice design team was to provide facilities which exemplify the trend to warm colours, finishes, soft lighting and family-friendly areas.
For the Hospice to keep its doors open, it requires a budget of £5million a year, with £1.9million coming from the National Health Service. That means that hospice fundraising must fund the remaining £3.1million. Perhaps that’s why the Hospice feels a little bit magical – it’s fuelled by kindness.
The community feel of the Hospice would not be possible without the help of the 760 volunteers and staff that give up their time to ensure those that stay there have top class clinical and palliative care.
"Our volunteers are so inspiring. They give up so much of their time and are as committed to providing their service for our patients as our staff. We work together as a team and we are proud of each and every one of our volunteers and the contribution they make. Without them our Hospice couldn’t run".
Included among the Hospice volunteers is a commercially focused social enterprise, Beauty with a Conscience – which is a partnership between Glasgow Clyde College and the Hospice. It provides high quality beauty treatments and meaningful work experience to qualified students. Amazingly, all the profits go to the hospice which helps to continually deliver the highest standard of care to patients and their families.
The more localised environment provided by the Hospice is more easily supportive to patients who may be confused, have sensory impairments or have dementia. Relatives appreciate the sense of care being closer and more patient specific.
“It may not be possible to add days to lives, we aim to add lives to days”
Is the Hospice's motto and it is joyfully embraced without hesitation
"We have recently just helped a couple have their wedding here at the Hospice. Every department pulled out the stops to ensure that Robert and Andy had the dream wedding they wanted".
This isn’t just a hospice providing palliative care to its patients, but a hospice dedicated to ensuring the highest possible quality of life for those who do not have much life left. The kindness and thought that goes into the Hospice processes are second to none and small touches like the opportunity for patients to join walking groups, and have their dogs visit them, really adds to the unbelievably human feel of the charity.
Based in Scotland’s biggest city, the Hospice is inherently Scottish and our nation’s values of generosity and openness shine through in so many aspects of its design and day-to-day running.
"Us Scots are a genuinely caring people. In Scotland, we won’t settle for second-best, we want to achieve the best, for ourselves and our families. At the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, we are inspired by our local population".
When asked if there is a moment from working at the Hospice that particularly sticks out in her mind, Anne answered:
"The moment which has had the most impact for me would be 6 November 2018. This was the day that our first inpatients transferred over to the new building. After years in the planning, design and construction, it was the ultimate feeling of achievement to have delivered this outstanding facility for our patients and their families".
The patients and their families come first and foremost. Their comfort, their lives and their enjoyment of those lives are what the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice strives to maintain. The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice is an exemplification of just how powerful kindness can be.