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Compton Hospice changes name to Compton Care in major rebrand

By Annabal Bagdi | South Staffordshire | Health | Published:

The Wolverhampton-based charity has dropped ‘hospice’ from its name after residents dubbed it a ‘death house’ and a ‘place you go to die’.

Compton Hospice’s new identity is Compton Care in a move revealed by, right, chief executive Claire Marshall

Compton Hospice today unveiled a rebrand after people said they were ‘frightened’ of using its services.

The Wolverhampton-based charity was forced to drop ‘hospice’ from its name after residents dubbed it a ‘death house’ and a ‘place you go to die’.

Chief executive Claire Marshall said the remarks were a ‘tragedy’ but hoped the new identity – which will see it renamed Compton Care – would ‘dispel the myths’ surrounding hospice care.

She said: “If the very people you seek to serve are frightened of you, it’s just heart-breaking.

“We’re on a mission to remove this fear and break down barriers to service access to ensure more patients get referred to us earlier, so we can treat them sooner and help them live better lives.

“We have got to keep adapting and changing if we are going to serve our patients.

“It’s not just about ensuring Compton survives, this is about making sure we provide extraordinary care in the future.”

The move came after an 18-month consultation with patients, families, staff, volunteers and referral agencies, including GPs.

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Compton Hospice

Medics said they would only make referrals to the care team in the final weeks or days of a person’s life, rather than earlier in their treatment.

Patients also claimed they were sometimes ‘suspicious’ of their referrals to the team – fearing their prognosis was worse than they had expected.

One person told the team ‘when you go in, you don’t come out’, Ms Marshall told the Express & Star.

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She added: “What was concerning was the way that patients and their families spoke of hospices and their fears about what might happen. We do deal with the end-of-life stage but that isn’t on a day-to-day basis or what we are doing all the time.”

What began as a ‘perception’ study to discover more about the community’s thoughts led to the complete rebrand. Compton Care is now among the first in the UK to remove ‘hospice’ from its name, Ms Marshall said.

Last August, the Express & Star revealed the organisation was considering a rebrand.

Ms Marshall, who has been at the helm for two years, said: “I hope people understand what we are trying to do is to serve more patients for longer and that only benefits our community.

“The patients are Compton Care. Patients say that when they are in our care, we change their lives. Hopefully, more people will say that.”

An artist’s impression of the hospice revamp

The three-year strategy includes building a new £2.5 million care coordination centre at its Compton Road West base, with work set to start this summer.

It was made possible thanks to a £1.5m donation by former Goodyear workers.

A number of jobs will be created when the centre – created by revamping the ‘dilapidated’ Compton Hall building – opens next spring.

Ms Marshall said: “We will create this great coordination hub. It will be the heart of Compton services.”

The organisation has been supporting patients for the past 35 years. Its services are available to people in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, South Staffordshire and east Shropshire.

It also has 30 charity shops including in Brierley Hill, Codsall, Rowley Regis, Cannock, Bilston, Wedensfield, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Dudley, Kingswinford, Stourbridge, Sedgley Penkridge, Willenhall, Wombourne and Perton.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

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