Life in a Hospice

None of us likes to think about what our last days will be like. But if we do think about them at all, we want them to be full of peace and tranquillity, with the chance to say proper goodbyes to those we love. Life in a Hospice takes you behind the scenes in end-of-life care, where you will see the enormous efforts of nurses, doctors, chaplains and others – even a thoughtful cook – to provide the calm that we all hope for.

Perhaps you are looking for end-of-life care for someone you love. Perhaps you are wondering if this is the job for you. Or you just feel like being inspired by humanity at its best.

This book will be for you.

FOREWORD by Tony Benn

Available in paperback and e-book

Glenmore Press, 2017

First published by Radcliffe Publishing, 2007

Translated into both Spanish and Portuguese

British Medical Association, 2008

“An easy-to-read book, which will surprise many readers with its lightness of touch, humanity and refreshing tone. I would recommend it to anyone who has worries about their own or a relative’s care at the end of life.” Dr Nansi-Wynne Evans, GP, BMA Book Competition


Press Coverage

e-hospice  (Karen Murphy, President of Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains (AHPCC)), 2018

“A gem of a book for anyone interested in palliative care and hospice work. There are many myths and preconceptions around what goes on inside the walls, many of them increase people’s anxiety and fear about contemplating death and dying.

“A unique approach to this subject by sharing insights from a wide range of people who work in a palliative care setting. Their reflections are incredibly honest and insightful, as contributors share the joys and sorrows of their role. Anyone reading this collection of insights will gain a true picture of how those working in the setting bring a range of practical skills to the task in hand, but also bring themselves whole-heartedly, and often at personal cost….If prospective patients were to read this, they would gain an assurance that those offering care are people of compassion and a deep sense of caring.

“A valuable resource for potential patients and their families, to give confidence in the support they will receive.

“Staff and volunteers have reflected on their work with congruence and it is a tribute to Ann that they were prepared to speak about their emotions so freely. It is a unique collection of honest reflections and I commend Ann for bringing such a collection together…”

Royal College of Nursing, Cancer Nursing Newsletter, 2008

“Adds to the canon of literature of personal narratives in the experience of illness, death and bereavement…The simple reflections on complex areas of care resonate long after you have finished reading the book.” 

The Times (Carol Midgley), 2009

“Shines a light on hospices, this little known but crucial service. Unlike a hospital, there is no regimentation and no uniforms. If patients want to die at home, everything possible is done to make it happen. If he or she wants a beer, or to bring in their own pets or to have a bath last thing at night, they can.”

The Journal of Palliative Care (Prof Steven Claxton-Oldfield) 2009

“Peeks into the lives of those who provide medical and compassionate care to dying patients and their loved ones during their most vulnerable moments. Some of the stories are sad, some are amusing, but all are inspiring. This book offers a snapshot of hospice care at its finest. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in caring for people who are facing death, and anyone considering the option of a residential hospice program for themselves or a loved one.”

Nursing and Therapies News (Rachel Anticoni), 2009

“Describes how it is the norm within a hospice to go the extra mile – and how staff in hospices often take on whatever role is needed with patients. Healthcare professionals who work in hospices will find it of interest and some relatives who have a family member in a hospice may find it reassuring.”

Mature Times (Jayne Warren), 2007

“At last, someone has written a book encapsulating the work of hospices as seen through the eyes of the people who work in them…Enlightening reading for all healthcare professionals in palliative care. Highly recommended.”

The Lamp (Jeannette Bromfield), 2008

“Enlightening reading for all healthcare professionals in palliative care, including volunteer, administrative and support staff.”

Hospice Information Bulletin (Mike Warren), 2008

“This fascinating book describes the motivations, rewards, aspirations and stresses of a group of people who work in hospices…. It would be a good read for the layman with no great knowledge of hospice care and would help inexperienced professionals understand the real meaning of palliative care.”


Excerpts from Readers’ Reviews

I will certainly include this as a resource for students when I teach the palliative care course at our university…Thanks for this important work.”   Kelli Stajduhar, Professor of Nursing, University of Victoria


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