In September 2018, it was announced that Mountbatten had been invited to lead a new ground-breaking partnership with a mainland hospice.

This would support Mountbatten’s strategy of wanting to reach more people and work in partnership move forward, as well as ensure that services for the Isle of Wight community as they face death, dying and bereavement are secure for the future.

The ground-breaking partnership between Mountbatten Isle of Wight and the then NHS-run Countess Mountbatten Hospice in Southampton is exploring ways that Mountbatten can utilise its leadership and support for the mainland hospice to continue developing their services as an independent charity.

In April 2019, a new bereavement service was launched at Countess Mountbatten Hospice, just one of a number of new services planned for the mainland unit. 

Nigel Hartley, now chief executive of both Mountbatten Isle of Wight and Countess Mountbatten Hospice, Southampton, who has worked for more than 30 years in the hospice sector, said: “I truly believe this is the start of a new era for Countess Mountbatten.

“Over the last six months we’ve been working with our partners at the University Hospital Southampton and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Southampton and west Hampshire, as well as with local GP practices and community teams, to map out what we believe can be a really bright future for the hospice.

“We want to help more people who are dying and we want to provide more services that support both them, their families and friends at all stages of their journey.

“To do that, we need the local community to support us in our mission.

“We’ll be working really hard to build on our links with people in and around Southampton and across Hampshire for Countess Mountbatten to truly become part of everyday life in the community.”

It costs between £6 million and £8 million to run Countess Mountbatten each year.

With Mountbatten Isle of Wight now leading the partnership, new ideas are being developed to meet the growing demand, and new fundraising activities are being explored to help with funding.

Mountbatten Isle of Wight was judged to be outstanding by the Care Quality Commission when it was last inspected and Nigel wants to create a similar story at Countess Mountbatten.

He said: “We take nothing for granted at Mountbatten Isle of Wight and we continually strive to be the best.

“When people come to the end of their life or when they are bereaved, they need the best possible care and support when they are at their most vulnerable.

“We will use all of our experience, confidence and competence to make sure Countess Mountbatten becomes one of the best end of life care services in the country.”

Under the terms of the partnership, fundraising streams for Countess Mountbatten and Mountbatten Isle of Wight will remain separate, meaning money donated is only used within the geographical area it is intended for.