Mountbatten’s annual conference has been hailed a success, with many delegates commenting that they will use the information they have gained in their own practice and workplaces.

Over 100 people attended the event at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 2 November 2018. Generous sponsorship from HTP Apprenticeship College, Wight Cleaning Supplies, Betapak and OSKA meant as many delegates as possible were able to attend at no cost to their own organisations or to Mountbatten.

Entitled ‘The Changing Face of Hospice Care: Leadership, influence, partnership’, the conference provided a diverse look at end of life care featuring a number of notable keynote speakers. Opening the conference, Nigel Hartley Mountbatten CEO reflected on the subject of generosity and how the simple actions of Mountbatten staff are so important to people at the end of life and their families. He talked about partnerships and the responsiveness of Mountbatten in creating solutions to challenges in the health and social care sector. He also spoke about the 50% increase in people needing Mountbatten’s support over the past year, and that patients are increasingly experiencing more complex illnesses, particularly frailty.

National health commentator Roy Lilley followed, with an animated look at how getting the basics right is so important to the quality of patient care. He spoke of the most successful organisations starting with the patient and ‘working backwards’ to establish the support they need. He stressed the importance of saying ‘thank you’ and celebrating success.

Other keynote speakers included Heather Richardson, joint CEO at St Christopher’s Hospice, London, who spoke about the Compassionate Communities project and how communities are being encouraged to be more actively involved in their own end of life care. Mark Jarman-Howe, CEO at St Helena Hospice spoke on the issue of assisted dying and Professor Jackie Bridges from the University of Southampton addressed delegates on supporting great care for older people.

During the morning and afternoon, break out workshop sessions invited delegates to consider a number of areas; how the Island can join together to become a community that is more responsible for end of life care, how Mountbatten is supporting our care homes in providing outstanding quality of care, explaining how the Namaste programme is supporting people living with dementia, how coordinating care can best meet people’s needs and how art therapy can support children dealing with bereavement.

After the conference, delegates were asked to submit their feedback and all of those returning their comments said they would recommend a future Mountbatten conference to their colleagues. Other comments included: “Excellent speakers, and powerful!” “Good networking opportunities for partnerships, thought-provoking speakers”, “Much to reflect on…very engaging speakers and topics”, “Inspirational!”.

Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO, said: “Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and brought their own valuable contributions to such a varied programme. I’d also like to thank our speakers for their insight, wisdom and challenge. Finally, I’d like to thank our sponsors, whose generous support has allowed us to share the latest practices and some thought-provoking ideas with as wide an audience as possible.”