Rennie Grove Hospice Care welcomes new chief executive

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, nationally recognised as a pioneer in the provision of hospice at home care, has appointed Stewart Marks as Chief Executive. The charity, which cares for around 2,500 patients and family members in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire every year, welcomed Mr Marks on 19 February 2018 following the retirement of previous Chief Executive, Jenny Provin.

Rennie Grove offers 24/7 hospice at home care for adults and children, a range of day services for adults and support services for family members. The care provided helps patients to live as well as possible at home surrounded by family and friends and to die at home if that is their choice.

Stewart Marks takes office at a time when new statistics published by Public Health England show that the percentage of people dying at home has increased by 5% since 2004 with 23.5% of all deaths occurring at home in 20161.

Commenting on the new statistics, Stewart Marks said: “We know from research that four out of five people approaching the end of their lives would prefer to die in the familiar surroundings of home but many are denied the chance. It is really encouraging to see that the percentage of people able to die at home is on the rise, thanks in no small part to the work of organisations like Rennie Grove.

“I am very proud to be joining this respected charity which has been championing the rights of patients to be able to choose to die at home for over thirty years. The Rennie Grove model of 24/7 responsive hospice at home care is recognised as one of the best in the country, and the charity supports patients with around 20,000 visits to their homes every year, at any time of the day or night, to help manage symptoms and keep them comfortable. In 2016-17 69% of patients cared for by Rennie Grove were able to die at home.”

As a previous Hospice Director at the Sue Ryder Nettlebed and Duchess of Kent Hospices, Stewart has extensive experience in developing and delivering outstanding palliative care services and he has also worked at Marie Curie.

“Whilst it is encouraging that the percentage of deaths at home is rising, 46.9% of people are still dying in hospital and many of those will be palliative care patients who did not need to be there.

“We know we have an ageing population with the over 60s set to grow by 22% between 2016 and 20262 and a particular increase in those over 75 and many of them will be living with one or more life-limiting illness. So it is vital that we are preparing now to give them the choice of care they deserve as they approach the end of their lives.