The Hospice: a ground-breaking series that reveals the truth and compassion in end-of-life care.
Together, the TV channel that inspires people to do good is premiering The Hospice, a new and original observational documentary series focusing on the lives of the patients, and their families, under the care of ellenor – a Kent hospice that provides individualized approach to end of life care.
This series, commissioned by Together and produced by Knickerbockerglory – the creators of Channel 5’s long-running series ‘GP: Behind Closed Doors’, gives viewers an opportunity to witness the incredibly therapeutic palliative care provided to all ages, from the very young to the very old, by the amazing staff and volunteers at ellenor.
Together will broadcast the first of 13 hour-long episodes of ‘The Hospice’ on Tuesday 8th May at 10pm on Freeview HD 93, Sky 159, Virgin 269, Freesat 164 and togethertv.com on demand services, like TV Player. The series will show how every single precious moment matters as it follows the deeply personal stories of both adults and children who are receiving end-of-life care both in their own homes, and at the ellenor inpatient ward in Gravesend.
Also highlighted is the remarkably inspirational way that the hospice staff and volunteers support the patients who are terminally ill and their families. Their expertise, passion and commitment create a warm, restful and, even happy environment, enabling limited time to be precious family time together.
In the first episode Dr. Nikki Anne Rodwell meets Jill, 60, who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. With her life drawing to a close, the hospice staff agree an end of life care plan in line with Jill and her family’s wishes. The hospice staff keeps a good line of communication open between Jill and her family, nurturing her through the process and keeping her as comfortable and pain free as possible, so that her last days are spent with dignity surrounded by her loved ones.
Jill says: “I knew as soon as I got diagnosed that this was the place I wanted to be. But it is not a service you tend to think about, until you actually need it.”
We will also meet patients like David, aged 35 years, who has an autoimmune disease that has made him deaf, blind, and unable to swallow solid food. At the hospice, as soon as he is made comfortable, his family notices an immediate change in him. He is able to enjoy a takeaway curry, shared with his family, and even have a visit from his dog.
We also meet Harriet, aged 2 years who suffers from a heart condition and comes in for regular check-ups. At the hospice, the specialist facilities available in the Fun Club enable her to have respite care and to play together with her twin sister and brother in a safe environment while her parents are given an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions they may have with the ellenor team.
Hospice UK and Together For Short Lives, to highlight the essential services hospices provide across the UK, will be promoting this series during Dying Matters Week (14-20 May) and Children’s Hospice Week (21-27 May), along with ongoing calls to action around volunteering throughout June and July.
Alexander Kann, Chief Executive of Together said: “We are proud to be shining a light on the amazing work of the doctors, nurses, support staff and hundreds of volunteers that make ellenor’s work possible. Providing people with comfort, compassion and dignity in end-of-life and palliative care is one of the most valuable services in our society. Hospices are at the heart of community and the public should be more aware of the amazing work hospices like ellenor do every day. We are partnering with ellenor, Hospice UK and Together For Short Lives to call on all our viewers to raise awareness for hospices and volunteer in hospices and in community care.”
Claire Cardy, Chief Executive of ellenor said: “This documentary reminds me why I am so proud of the work that goes on at ellenor, every day, by our dedicated team of staff and volunteers. While encountering new and unique challenges they never fail to deliver an exceptional standard of care to patients and their families. I am confident that this documentary will introduce ellenor to new and varied communities who will be pleased to know that ellenor is always at hand to help them”.
Jonathan Stadlen, MD of Knickerbockerglory, said: “This is a series about normal people going through extraordinary experiences. With this series, we wanted to respectfully tell the stories of those who are living with life-limiting conditions through the voice of the people involved – family, friends, community and doctors, nurses, specialists and the volunteers who make each person get the support they really need.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “The Hospice offers some illuminating insights into the incredible care provided by charitable hospices and the diverse range of services they provide for people with life-limiting conditions of all ages, and also their families.
We hope this series will inspire more people to support their local hospice in different ways. It is thanks to the generosity of people from local communities, who give donations, or their time by volunteering that enables hospices to provide their services. We are delighted to be partnering on this ground-breaking series and encouraging the public to learn more about the vital role of hospices in providing care, and to support them and get involved in their work.”
Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO for, Together for Short Lives said: “Public perceptions of children’s palliative care often focus on end of life care, and sadly too many people think that children’s hospices are dark and gloomy places for the dying. This perception couldn’t be further from the truth. The Hospice helps to shine a light on the lifeline work of ellenor, and of children’s hospices all over the UK, showing they are full of colour, love and joy. Vitally, it highlights their dedicated care for seriously ill children and families – for the whole of a child’s life, from diagnosis to the end of life, and in bereavement. I hope you will join me in supporting Children’s Hospice Week this May, to celebrate children’s hospices remarkable support – helping children and families to make every precious moment count.”