Our core purpose
When faced with life shortening illness, death and bereavement, the people of the Highlands deserve the best possible care and support. At Highland Hospice, our ambition is to ensure they receive this.
Hospice care focuses on the individual and puts the needs of them and their families at the centre of decision-making. By managing their pain and other physical symptoms, we help make time and space for reflection, for gaining perspective and for achieving a measure of calm. Crucially, our team also offers advice with the emotional, social and spiritual issues that may arise and works with patients, families and carers at a time of transition to help them enjoy, value and commemorate life.
As well as providing services direct to those in need, we work in partnership with local communities and support professional and unpaid carers by sharing resources and offering training and mentoring, so they can provide the best care they can.
Highland Hospice services are offered free of charge to all those in the Highlands who need them. We are an independent local charity reliant on our community for the majority of our funding.
The idea of a hospice in the Highlands came from two determined individuals, Flora MacKay and Cecilia Bottomley. Whilst working as nurses at the old Culduthel Hospital in Inverness, they decided that they could and should be able to provide better care to those with a life shortening illness. In the spring of 1983, Flora and Cecilia brought together a committee to drive forward their vision and Highland Hospice was born.
Less than five years later, on November 17th 1987, the first patient entered through the doors of the Day Hospice and a year after that the purpose-built Inpatient Unit opened. Over the next three decades, with the generous support of the Highland public, the Hospice has extended, renovated and replaced all its buildings on our riverside site in Inverness and on November 17th 2016 the first patients were welcomed to the new Highland Hospice.
- Our adult bereavement support service was launched in 1994.
- Our new Day Therapy and Education Centre, Netley Centre, was opened in 1999.
- We launched our Helping Hands volunteer befriending service in 2015.
- Our new Inpatient Unit opened in November 2016.
- Crocus Highland child and young person bereavement service became part of the Hospice in 2018.
- We started to deliver social care at home through our Sunflower Home Care service in 2021.
What we offer
We offer the following services:
- Inpatient Care in a 12-bed unit at Ness House on the riverside in Inverness.
- A Rehabilitation and Well-being service offering group and one-to-one support to individuals at the Hospice, by Zoom or in their own home as appropriate to their needs.
- Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Aromatherapy for our inpatients and as an outpatient or domiciliary service.
- A rehabilitation service for people with respiratory and neurological conditions to support them living at home and improve their quality of life.
- Patient, Family and Carer Support across the Highlands from our social worker, chaplain, and bereavement team.
- A volunteer befriending and support service for people living at home with their illness in and around Inverness, the Black Isle, and Easter Ross and elsewhere in the Highlands through partnerships with local community-led groups.
- Education and mentoring for healthcare professionals in the community, care homes and local hospitals both one-to-one and through group telementoring via Project ECHO. This includes general education and specific advice on individual patients.
- Social Care at Home in rural parts of the Highlands through partnerships with local communities and the support of NHS Highland.
How we are funded
We are an independent local charity reliant on our community. The region we cover has a population of over 230,000 scattered across an area the size of Belgium. The NHS provides an annual grant but we still need additional funds of over £7,000 a day to cover the costs of delivering all our services. We raise this money from our fundraising and retail activities which include a wide range of events for all age groups; supporting community members and companies to fundraise on our behalf; encouraging small donations and legacies from individuals; sourcing grant funding from charitable trusts and operating 15 charity shops, two cafes and a miniature railway.
Your contribution of time or money - as a volunteer in the Hospice or one of our shops; organising a fundraising event; making a cash donation; offering goods to sell in our shops; or shopping with us - can make a meaningful difference to people when they need it most.
Please support your Highland Hospice.