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VOICES Survey Results 2018


During January – December 2018, relatives of deceased patients known to the In-Patient Unit (IPU) and the St. Michael’s Hospice Community Palliative Care Team (SMHCPCT) were surveyed using a modified VOICES questionnaire. Relative’s views were ascertained of the service that they and the patient had received from the Hospice.

  • A total of 278 questionnaires were sent out during 2018 and 130 were returned: a 47% response rate. This is a 4% increase on the response rate for 2017.

Family and Friends Test SMH VOICES 2018

We are delighted that in 2018, 97% of respondents stated that they were either likely or extremely likely to recommend the Hospice to their friends or family if they needed similar care or treatment.

Key Findings:


  • Relatives reporting that the patient had received enough support with religious or spiritual needs increased by 7% compared with the 2017 survey, and support with relief of symptoms other than pain improved by 2%.
  • There was an 8% increase in relatives responding that ‘the patient’s pain was relieved completely all of the time’.
  • 96% of relatives perceived themselves receiving enough emotional support from the hospice team (same as 2017).
  • 80% of relatives felt that the staff explained things in a way that was very easy to understand (9% increase).
  • 93% of relatives rated both doctors and nurses in IPU as excellent or exceptional.
  • There was a 2% increase in relatives rating the hospice food as exceptional.
  • 65% of relative rated the hospice garden as excellent compared with 81% in 2017 (16% decrease).


  • Relatives reporting that the patient had received enough support with religious or spiritual needs increased by 11% compared with the 2017 survey.
  • There was a 6% increase in relative’s perception of the patient’s pain being controlled ‘completely all of the time in the community’.
  • There was an 4% increase in relative’s stating that they ‘had support with family concerns’.
  • 90% of relatives stated that the SMHCPCT’s care and communication with others was well co-ordinated. (3% decrease).
  • 99% of relatives agreed that the patient had been treated with dignity and respect (4% increase).


  • 73% of patients informed their relative where they would like to die (5% decrease).
  • 65% of patients identified home as being their preferred place of death, 10% down on 2017.
  • 33% of patients identified the hospice as being their preferred place of death, 10% increase on 2017.
  • There was a 4% increase in relatives who reported that they had spoken to someone at the Hospice after the patient had died compared with 2017.


The annual VOICES Survey forms an essential part of SMH quality assurance programme. Relative feedback on the service that they and their loved one received provides the opportunity to identify both areas of improvement and areas for development. 

Some of the improvements include the refurbishment of the relative’s bathroom, development of a new document aimed at improving coordination of care and communication in the community, enhancements to the hospice lawns and an increased provision of information leaflets for patients and their families.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who took the time to complete a questionnaire during 2018 for the benefit of future service users.

"St. Michael's Hospice staff gave him his smile back, the care was second to none. Thank you."

"I cannot thank you enough for the service provided, enabling my wife to die where she wanted. The service and staff were amazing."

"I was very grateful to be able to keep my husband at home. It made all the difference in his last weeks."

"I was made to feel so very comfortable and welcome. Being able to stay with my mum the whole time she was there was an absolute gift."