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1. Name

The name shall be The National Forum For Hospice at Home.

2. Definitions

‘The Forum’

The National Forum For Hospice at Home.


The National Forum for Hospice at Home recognises that there are a variety of models of Hospice at Home, many of whom will provide services in line with the following definition. The Forum also recognises that Hospice at Home is a growing area of care, and that there are services which will provide some, but not all of the elements as defined.


Hospice at Home aims to enable patients with cancer or other advanced illness to be cared for at home, and to die at home if that is their preference. Care may be provided to prevent admission to an inpatient unit, for respite or crisis management, or for longer periods of time. Care is intended to be of the highest possible standard so as to enhance the quality of life of patients, carers and families.


Hospice at Home is an integral component of palliative home care, bringing the skills, ethos and practical care associated with ‘Hospice’ into the home environment and putting the patient and those who matter to them at the centre of care. Palliative home care forms a spectrum from advisory and educational roles to hands-on care, in response to the changing needs of the patient and carers.

Staffing Requirements

Hospice at Home is provided by a multiprofessional team, working closely with the entire community specialist palliative care team and the primary care team. The minimum requirements for Full Members are:

· One or more nurses who hold a specialist practitioner recordable qualification in palliative care, who will normally carry out initial assessments and may provide leadership and supervision to the team.

· Nurses with suitable qualifications and /or experience to provide hands-on nursing and basic psychological and social support.

· 24-hour access to specialist, palliative medical advice.

· Easy access to other professionals, and in particular to social work and counselling skills.

· The professional staff may be supported by volunteers who have had appropriate training.

Operational Requirements

Hospice at Home provides hands-on expert nursing care, on up to a 24-hour basis, along with other appropriate elements of palliative care including:

· Emotional, psychological and social support, with clear protocols for referral as necessary to specialist colleagues in social work, counselling, spiritual care, psychology and psychiatry.

· Access to specialist colleagues in other disciplines, such as physiotherapy, as required.

· Provision of information, support, education and training where needed to all carers both lay and professional.

· Close collaboration and communication with the primary care team, the patient’s acute hospital specialists if appropriate, and other agencies.

‘Full Member’

An organisation providing these services regardless of source of funding.

‘Associate Member’

An organisation, which has a constitution which includes some, but not all of the above requirements.


Shall be a senior employee or Trustee of a Member Organisation.

‘Management Committee’

Shall be selected from among the Representatives of both Full and Associate Members, except for one member who shall be nominated by Help the Hospices.

There shall be no more than 10 members of the Management Committee, but of these there should be a minimum of 5 Full Members.

Up to 3 members of the Management Committee may be co-opted.

‘Honorary Officer’

The Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and such other officers of the Forum as appointed by the Management Committee.

‘Help the Hospices’

Charity no. 1014851 whose registered office is as Hospice House, 34-44 Britannia Street, London WC1X 9JG.

3. Objects

The Forum is the national umbrella and representative body for Hospice at Home in the United Kingdom. It is established within Help the Hospices for the benefit of its Member Organisations and the public by promoting the development, extension and improvement of Services.

Through the Forum Membership Organisations will work in partnership to:

· Share information and expertise.

· To promote and encourage the evidence base upon which first class Hospice at Home services are built.

· Develop and publish guidance on all aspects of Hospice at Home.

· Collaborate in joint action relevant to the objects of the Forum.

· Communicate on Hospice at Home issues to The National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care, the Scottish Partnership Agency, Help the Hospices and others as appropriate.

In furtherance of these objectives, and recognising the independence and autonomy of each individual hospice, the Forum may:

By agreement with Help the Hospices, accept gifts and raise money in furtherance of such objects on such terms (and on such security) as may be thought fit providing that in raising funds the Management Committee shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law and the constitution of Help the Hospices.

By agreement with Help the Hospices, procure contributions to the Forum by personal or written appeals or by subscription or otherwise.

Establish and promote a forum for discussion and education between Member Organisations.

Publish and otherwise disseminate to Member Organisations and to others information concerning Hospice at Home.

Do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the foregoing.

4. Membership

Membership shall be open to any organisation satisfying the definition of ‘Full Member’ or ‘Associate Member’ which shall be determined by the Forum.

Each Member Organisation shall nominate one Representative to represent it at the Forum and may also nominate a Substitute, for occasions where the original nominee might be unable to represent the Member Organisation.

The Forum shall have the right:

· To approve or reject applications for membership.

· Terminate the membership of any Member Organisation provided that the Member Organisation concerned shall have the right to be heard by or make representation to the Forum before a final decision is taken.

5. Management Committee and Honorary Officers

At the meeting adopting this Constitution and thereafter at each Annual General Meeting (unless there shall be less than six months between such Annual or other Extra General Meetings) there shall be elected in accordance with Clause 2 new members to replace those who have retired by rotation. Retirement shall take place at the conclusion of the relevant Annual General Meeting.

Each member of the Management Committee shall serve for a term of three years by rotation save in the first two years of the Forum when one third of the number elected shall stand down at the Annual General Meeting in 2002, but may be eligible to stand for re-election for a further term of three years.

Each member of the Management Committee shall be eligible for re-election for one further term of three years before standing down for a minimum of one term.

At the meeting adopting this Constitution and thereafter at each Annual General Meeting (unless there shall be less than six months between such Annual or other General Meetings) there shall be elected from among the members of the Management Committee such Honorary Officers who may from time to time be deemed necessary to carry out the business of the Forum. Honorary Officers will be elected or re-elected on an annual basis from the membership of the Management Committee.

Retiring Honorary Officers shall hold office until the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting.

Any member of the Management Committee and any Honorary Officer elected as a Representative of a Member of the Forum who is for any reason unable to continue as a Representative shall resign forthwith as a member of the Management Committee and from any office held.

6. Meetings

Meetings of the Management Committee shall be held not less than 3 times in each calendar year. In addition, general meetings of all Member Organisations shall be held not less than once in each calendar year. At least 21 days notice of meetings including the agenda shall be given in writing to all Members by the Secretary.

An Annual General Meeting will be held every year the business of which shall include:

· Election of the new members to replace retiring members of the Management Committee and Honorary Officers.

· The Chairman’s report on the activities of the Forum during the preceding year.

· Presentation of the annual accounts of the Forum.

· Any other matters placed properly on the Agenda by Member Organisations of the Forum.

The Committee may appoint such special or standing committees as may be deemed necessary from time to time, and shall determine their terms of reference, powers, duration and composition. All acts and procedures of such committee meetings shall be reported back to the Management Committee meeting immediately following. A copy of all minutes shall be forwarded to Help the Hospices.

The Chairman of the Management Committee may at any time at his/her discretion, and the Secretary shall within 21 days of receiving a written request to do so signed by not less than half of the number of Full Members and giving reasons for the request, call a General Meeting of the Forum giving 21 clear days notice in writing to each Member Organisation, with a clear purpose for the meeting.

7. Nominations

Nominations for the Management Committee and Honorary Officers shall be made in writing to the address given on the notice of the last Annual General Meeting so as to arrive at least 14 days before the date of such meeting. Nominations and notices of propositions shall be proposed and seconded by Representatives of Members or by elected members of the Management Committee.

8. Proceedings at Meetings


Unless and until so determined at a General Meeting at which due notice of the proposal has been given, the quorum at a General or Management Committee meeting shall be not less than one third of the membership or of the relevant members.


Each Member shall have one vote to be cast on its behalf by its Representative or in his/her absence by its Substitute. Where provided by the Notice convening any meeting, postal voting shall be permitted. All matters shall be decided by a simple majority (other than matters decided under clause 11 and 12)

If at any General Meeting where a resolution is put to the vote there is an equality of votes, whether on a show of hands or poll, the Chairman of the General Meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote. The Chairman of the General Meeting shall not be entitled to a vote at any other time. In Management Committee meetings the Chairman of the Forum (or chairman of the committee) shall have a first vote and in the event of a tie a second casting vote.


The Forum shall have power to adopt and issue standing orders and/or rules. Such standing orders and/or rules shall come into operation immediately provided that they shall be subject to review at a General Meeting and shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution or the constitution of Help the Hospices.

9. Finance

All monies raised by or on behalf of the Forum shall be applied to further the objects of the Forum and for no other purpose provided that nothing herein shall prevent the repayment to members of the Management Committee or other committee properly appointed under Clause 5 hereof of reasonable, documented out-of-pocket expenses.


Help the Hospices shall ensure that proper accounts are kept of the finances of the Forum. These accounts will formally be part of the Help the Hospices’ accounts and audited as such. The accounts will be made available by Help the Hospices as agreed with the Management Committee of the Forum.


All financial assets of the Forum shall be held by Help the Hospices on behalf of the Forum as “restricted funds” as defined by the Charity Commission SORP. Requests for payments and current financial information will be processed by Help the Hospices on the signed authority of two designated members of the Management committee.

10. Trust Property

The title to all real or personal property, which may be acquired by or on behalf of the Forum, will be vested in Help the Hospices on behalf of the Forum and its membership, provided that the consent of the Trustees of Help the Hospices is obtained in advance.

11. Amendments to the Constitution

All proposals for amendment to this constitution shall be submitted to the Secretary clearly in writing at least 21 days prior to an Annual or Extraordinary General meeting at which the proposal is required to be discussed. To become effective, such proposals must be consistent with the constitution of Help the Hospices and shall require the assent of not less than two thirds of those Representatives entitled to vote.

12. Dissolution

If the Management Committee by a two-thirds majority decide at any time and on any ground that it is advisable to dissolve the Forum it shall call a meeting of all Member Organisations entitled to vote at not less than 21 days notice stating the terms of the Resolution to be proposed at such meeting. Dissolution of the Forum shall require a decision confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those Representatives present and entitled to vote at the meeting.

Help the Hospices may dissolve the Forum immediately if the Forum does anything which brings or is likely to bring the reputation of Help the Hospices into disrepute.

The Management Committee may recommend to the Trustees of Help the Hospices that any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the Forum as the Management Committee may determine. However, the final decision will be made by the Trustees of Help the Hospices.

In the event of the Forum wishing to become independent of Help the Hospices, this will require a two-thirds majority vote of the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Forum called with 21 days written notice.

In this event assets of the Forum held by Help the Hospices would be duly deposited in bona fide bank, building society etc. accounts and arrangements for independent management and auditing of accounts would be put in place. The Forum would then register as an independent charity.

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