The Malta Hospice Movement was founded on 4th January 1989 when the Founding Members, who assumed the role of the first Council of Management, formally signed the Statute which governs the Movement.
The Founding Members drew their inspiration from the work of Dame Cicely Saunders who opened St Christopher’s Hospice in 1967 and the Movement continues to model itself on her ideals. Dame Cicely’s extraordinary contribution to alleviating human suffering has resulted in world wide recognition and the mushrooming of palliative care services across the globe.
Hospice Malta’s primary role was to provide and promote palliative care for persons suffering from end-of-life cancer and motor neuron disease. Throughout the years, as the awareness and the need for palliative care increased, Hospice Malta included other conditions within its mission statement so that presently, community-based services are also offered to patients suffering from end-of-life cardiac, respiratory, renal, liver diseases and most recently, Creutzfeldt Jacob disease and Multiple sclerosis. The possibility of including other end-of-life diseases is also being constantly reviewed.
Hospice Malta, a registered NGO with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organizations (VO/0062), offers all of its services free of charge to patients in Malta and Gozo. The raison d’etre of Hospice Malta is guided by the philosophy and principles of palliative care as expounded by the WHO.
Hospice Malta offers its services through a professional multidisciplinary team along with the assistance of a number of volunteers. The patient-centered palliative care offered, targets the relief of pain and other physical symptoms, as well as emotional, psycho-social, and spiritual issues. Bereavement support is also an integral part of the services provided. Additionally, education, advice and promotion of palliative care remain at the core of Hospice Malta’s services. Hospice’s education unit provides educational sessions at both undergraduate and post graduate levels in addition to providing in-service training to staff and volunteers to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and skills.