George Thomas Hospice Care to bring a new name to hospice care in Cardiff – City Hospice – this summer.
Earlier this month our trustees and charity members agreed to change our name from George Thomas Hospice Care to City Hospice later this summer.
We have been considering the question of rebranding since September last year, and whether a change of name would help to ensure our continuing ability to meet the needs of the patients referred to us and of their families.
The likely increase in the number of referrals we will receive in the future was the key consideration. The Hospice received a record number of 742 new patient referrals in 2016/17, an increase of 10% on the year before, and we expect the number of patients referred to us to continue to rise. This is because there is a huge unmet need for palliative and end of life care, principally from people suffering from a non-cancer terminal illness.
As GPs and hospital clinicians increasingly see how our service can help patients diagnosed with these non-cancer life-limiting conditions, so they will refer increasing numbers of patients to our service (for example last year 25 patients suffering from dementia were referred to us). We estimate the likely need for palliative and end of life care amongst the population we serve could result in 1200 – 1400 referrals per annum at some stage in the future. This would require a major expansion of the current clinical service, and with that a need to raise much higher levels of income.
By lending his name to the charity, George Thomas ensured the charity’s early survival and prosperity, and the association with his name has undoubtedly brought great benefits. However, 20 years after his death the present generation knows little of his achievements, or of his relevance to this charity. The Hospice needs to appeal to that wider public where, increasingly, only a minority are familiar with George Thomas. We believe our new name – City Hospice – will be appealing, easily recognisable and remembered, and should over time attract great support and affection across the City, allowing the Hospice to engage better with those supporters to whom the name George Thomas has little significance. Although our existing supporters value the essential work the charity does, knowing that it has no connection other than by name with George Thomas, our new name will also distance the charity from any negative connotation that may now or in the future be associated with George Thomas’ name.
In changing the name, we will not be forgetting the marvelous heritage of George Thomas Hospice Care and the thousands of patients and families that it has supported. City Hospice will be building on that very solid foundation, tradition and reputation of outstanding service to the community as it develops in the future.