Review of hospice care; today's hospices are built for yesterday

Dying patients and their family members lack adequate private spaces as hospices are not designed to support palliative care services. Some hospices are also isolated from the community as there no communal spaces or facilities which the public can o
Dying patients and their family members lack adequate private spaces as hospices are not designed to support palliative care services. Some hospices are also isolated from the community as there no communal spaces or facilities which the public can opt to use. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Dying patients and their family members lack adequate private spaces as hospices are not designed to support palliative care services. Some hospices are also isolated from the community as there no communal spaces or facilities which the public can opt to use.

These are some of the key findings from a nine-month review of the sector commissioned by Lien Foundation and ACM Foundation. This first of its kind design study also gave some suggestions on how they can develop better hospices for the future. For example, it proposed having mobile trolleys that dispense medication to patients instead of fixed workstations for nurses so that the needs of patients can be met without intruding into their privacy.

The foundations roped in fuelfor, a design consultancy specialising in healthcare, to examine some of the key challenges that hospices face today, from the design and use of spaces to patient experiences and community engagement.

"Today's hospices are built for yesterday," said Mr Lee Poh Wah, chief executive of Lien Foundation. "Hospices suffer a poor image and deserve better understanding from society and fresh insights to meet rising care expectations."