Palliative Care Hub wins ‘Primary Care Innovation of the Year’!

November 29, 2021

The Palliative Care Hub, which is a free out of hours phone service for anyone who needs specialist palliative care advice or support across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has won ‘Primary Care Innovation of the Year’ at the annual Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The prestigious awards which have been running for 40 years, draw attention to the “high-flyers” of healthcare excellence, celebrating the very best of the NHS and its partners.

Having launched in April 2021, the Palliative Care Hub – which can be accessed by calling 111 and selecting option 3 to speak to a Clinical Nurse Specialist – is available to anyone who needs specialist palliative care advice or support across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The remarkable impact of the phone service is illustrated by the fact that in its first 7 months (between April and October 2021) 1,489 calls were taken for 705 patients not already known to the service, preventing 109 avoidable hospital admissions.

The service is commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and is operated by Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in partnership with HUC (Herts Urgent Care) who provide the local NHS 111 service and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.

With over 1,000 entries across 23 categories, the HSJ awards are the largest benchmarking and recognition programme for the health sector, celebrating success and shining a light on outstanding efforts and achievements. The Palliative Care Hub was part of an impressive shortlist of nine in their category, having made it through two highly competitive judging stages.

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday 18 November at Evolution in London, where representatives from the service including Pip Munk and Hannah Donald – Clinical Nurse Specialists from the Palliative Care Hub – who were guests of the CCG, were delighted to accept the prestigious trophy.

Explaining why the service had stood out in an exceptional list of finalists, the judges commented: “This innovative project demonstrated that it had an impact across all patient cohorts and the ability to support families and carers at the most vulnerable time in their lives. The project has a bigger potential for spread, which has been recognised by national organisations. The team seized the opportunities they had to make successful and life changing interventions.”

Matron of Clinical Services at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, Carly Love, remarks: “Winning this award is testament to the importance of collaboration in making services like this a true success. It’s about putting the patient first and each of the partnership organisations involved is passionate about creating the best possible outcomes for people with incurable illness and supporting those who care for them. It has been hard work to get the phone line up and running, especially in the middle of a pandemic, but we are already seeing our impact as well as evidence that we are part of a vital solution. One call made to us tends to generate two more from us to the wider healthcare sector. We link patients up with the right support proactively at the right times and in the right locations.”

Dr Gary Howsam, Chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, adds: “I am thrilled that the Palliative Care Hub service has been recognised by the HSJ awards. By providing specialist advice, co-ordinating care, and providing referrals patients are given more choice and control over their care, and crucially, a better end of life experience.  It is also a great example of how partners across our local health and care system are working together to improve local services.”

The full list of winners for the HSJ Awards 2021 can be found at

To find out more about the Palliative Care Hub visit If you require specialist palliative care advice and live in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough you can call the phone line on 111, selecting option 3. Current hours of operation: Monday to Thursday 7.00am-2.00pm, then 5.00pm-12.30am; 24 hours on Fridays, weekends and bank holidays.