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Quarter million pound research fund will help improve hospice care in West Midlands

  • New project led by Warwick Medical School will work with up to 22 local hospices
  • Press release originally issued by Marie Curie

Hospice care across the West Midlands has received an exciting boost as researchers have received a quarter of a million pound grant to establish better care for terminally ill patients.

The funding will support researchers at the University of Warwick working with Marie Curie to explore the impact that Covid-19 has had on hospice care across the region. Examining the experiences of up to 22 local hospices, the research findings will be used to improve clinical practise for people dying now and in the years to come.

The researchers are calling on hospices in the West Midlands to participate in the project by shedding a light on the experience of their patients and staff during the pandemic. The work will shape the future of care in the West Midlands and ultimately influence palliative medicine nationwide.

Dr John MacArtney, Senior Research Fellow at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands and Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick said:

“Hospices across the country have had to radically adapt over the last 12 months, implementing huge changes, such as limits on visits, which have had a lasting impact on patients and their families and placed pressure on community services. While the pandemic was a once in a generation event, we know more people will die in future as our population ages. As such, there are lessons we can learn from the last year that can help improve care for dying people in the future.

“The West Midlands is the ideal place in which to explore these issues, with its diverse community and broad demographic population. I am delighted at the opportunities this funding offers the region and the chance to explore how hospices can continue to evolve in the wake of Covid-19.”

Dr Sabine Best, Head of Research at Marie Curie Said:

“We at Marie Curie are dedicated to ensuring everyone receives the care and support they need at the end of their lives. As a sector we must learn, collectively and collaboratively, how best we can support our communities through the challenges that may still be present long after the pandemic. We would be delighted to see as many hospices within the West Midlands lend their support to this project. This grant is a great success for one of our Marie Curie Research Fellows but also for the West Midlands - by working with other hospices in the region we will gather the evidence to provide even better care for years to come.”

The grant of approximately £250,000 was awarded to the researchers by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19. Local hospices looking to take part in the project may express their interest by contacting the research team at the University of Warwick:  

- Ends -

Notes to Editor

About Marie Curie 

Marie Curie – care and support through terminal illness 

Please note – we are now called ‘Marie Curie’ (not Marie Curie Cancer Care) 

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance.  Marie Curie employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, and with its nine hospices around the UK, is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS. 

Marie Curie is the largest charitable funder of palliative and end of life care research in the UK. The charity invests in research to help inform better quality of care and a better end of life experience for people with any terminal illness, and the people who care for them.

If you are in need of support, or have any questions about any aspect of terminal illness, call the Marie Curie Information & Support Line free on 0800 090 2309 or visit 

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This research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.

ESRC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new organisation that brings together the UK’s seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England to maximise the contribution of each council and create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision is to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Originally issued by Marie Curie

22 April 2021

University of Warwick press office contact:

Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics) | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863