Hospice bosses who jumped to defend their vital work and services after a number of a television shows labelled them “dingy” have said support for them is as strong as ever.
Trinity Hospice and Brian House, the palliative care units for adults and children on the Fylde coast, joined a national campaign, ‘We are not dingy’, in a bid to show people they are warm and welcoming places not to be feared.
We simply didn’t recognise the descriptions used recently by the BBC when talking about hospices
It came as two BBC programmes, Casualty and Eastenders, used the negative language discussing hospices in ongoing storylines.
Hospices across the UK responded with a Twitter campaign, adopting the hashtag, #notdingy, which the Fylde coast’s unit has said has been well received.
David Houston, chief executive at Trinity Hospice said: “We simply didn’t recognise the descriptions used recently by the BBC when talking about hospices.“
Bosses of the Bispham based unit said they were particularly shocked to hear such language used about their work when communities like the Fylde coast are raising thousands of pounds every year to support them.
The Gazette last year helped to raise £263,000 for the hospice’s multi-million pound redevelopment as readers backed the Hospice Heroes campaign.
Mr Houston added: “In Trinity and Brian House the Fylde coast has some of the most modern and well equipped facilities for palliative care – and of course Gazette readers helped pay for our award-winning refurbishment only last year.
“We are definitely not dingy.”
Bosses said that with the programmes having millions of viewers, the phrases struck a chord.
Photos of the refurbished facilities on Low Moor Road, which includes bedrooms overlooking carefully manicured gardens and murals of Fylde coast views, were posted to social media sites.
A spokesman added: “The word hospice can make people feel quite anxious and afraid.
“It’s really not helpful to have families tuning into Casualty and EastEnders and seeing storylines like this, when they may have loved ones in need of hospice care.
“We were just bemused as to where two separate programmes, and two separate scriptwriting teams, got such bleak ideas about hospice care, especially when a considerable number of television actors are active supporters of the hospice movement.
“Trinity and Brian House supporters were quick to join in the Twitter and Facebook feeds, saying that the hospices are beautiful places and nothing like the programmes portrayed.“