On Friday 28th May, Hospice Malta called its 32nd Annual General Meeting. The AGM was held virtually in accordance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
During the meeting, Hospice Malta Chairperson Ms. Bernadette Bonnici Kind, spoke about how Hospice has successfully adapted to changes due to the pandemic, whilst increasing efforts to meet patients’ needs to enable them to remain in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
She also gave an update about St Michael Hospice where works are currently ongoing, and the civil works are expected to be finalised within the coming months. She thanked the various entities as well as the government for their continued support.
Ms Bonnici Kind applauded the Council of Administrators, staff members and all volunteers, whose team effort allows Hospice Malta to cater for the increasing number of patients and families who require palliative care services. She also thanked Mrs. Miriam Vella, the President’s wife and Patron of Hospice, for hosting the Hospice Malta AGM at San Anton Palace.
In his annual report, Mr. Kenneth Delia, CEO of Hospice Malta, gave an in-depth overview of how Hospice has adjusted to new working practices, its investment in IT for patient contact as well as for contact between Hospice professionals, its continued efforts to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility, and the increased use of social media as a means of engagement with both patients and the general public.
Mr. Delia gave a summary of the operations and highlighted the growing number of patients that added up to 1,305 patients in 2020, a 2% increase on 2019, and who benefitted from around 30,000 sessions through home visits as well as virtual means when the latter were not possible due to the pandemic. 219 patients also benefitted from 9,105 hours of care assistant services at the patients’ home. Free of charge equipment loans from Hospice amounted to 1070 items throughout the year, helping patients to remain as comfortable as possible in their own home. Day Therapy Unit sessions also shifted to online group virtual sessions.
Mr Delia emphasized the importance that Hospice places on the quality of the service provision. “Service quality remains one of the most important measures for Hospice. It is with great pleasure that I am able to report that all patients are today contacted within 24 hours of their referral, and 94% of our patients receive a home visit by our professional within 5 working days.”
In addition, Hospice extended its bereavement services to families who lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investment in human resources’ education and training remain a priority at Hospice as the organisation continues to strengthen the team’s professional development. In August 2020, Hospice Malta complimented its existing team with the employment of a Chief Relations Officer, responsible for marketing, public relations and well as fundraising activities.
Mr. Vladimiro Comodini, Hon. Treasurer, gave an overview of the audited financial statements for the year 2020, during which an increased surplus was noted largely due to two exceptional legacies and a transfer of shares from a local established company. He reminded attendees that one can donate and continue to support Hospice by visiting www.hospicemalta.org.