New agreement creates first formal university teaching hospice in UK

St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds is to become the first formally recognised university teaching hospice in the UK, helping it to provide the best possible palliative care by using the latest research.


The hospice, the largest in Yorkshire, will mark its new status at a launch event this September, following the pioneering agreement with the University. It has been supported by NHS Health Education England and reflects the long-standing relationship between St Gemma’s and the University, providing a stronger platform for teaching and research in the future.     

The new permanent, extended relationship provides increased capacity for Leeds students to study palliative care in practice at St Gemma’s as part of their degrees. Raising the profile of palliative care research nationally and internationally, and ensuring the sector has a continued flow of expert medical and managerial personnel is a key feature of the new relationship.

The hospice and the university joined forces in 2011 to appoint Professor Mike Bennett as the St Gemma’s professor of palliative medicine. Professor Bennett leads the Academic Unit of Palliative Care based at the University’s Leeds Institute of Health Sciences and at St Gemma’s Hospice.

The hospice has provided university teaching and training in the form of a postgraduate healthcare course for more than 20 years and works with around 200 medical students per year to develop their skills in this area.

Professor Bennett said: “The work we have carried out together has ensured St Gemma’s staff and volunteers have had the most up-to-date education in standards of care, based on evidence from ongoing research programmes.

“Formalising this partnership between two of the city’s most respected organisations means patients for years to come will continue to be well supported. It also provides an opportunity to raise the profile of teaching and research in palliative care nationally.

“Ultimately it means the people we look after will be treated in the best way possible and, as patients’ needs change over time, we will always be in a position to adapt because of the new research which will be carried out.”

Read more about future plans for our relationship with St Gemma's.

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