On Wednesday, 2 November at 4pm, Cranford Hospice is holding  its first ‘Annual Public Meeting’.

As I understand it, this is not your routine tour of the facility.

Instead, it’s intended as a step toward greater public accountability on the part of the new governance and staff leadership of Cranford, now in place about one year (a bit more in the case of the new Board).

Several months ago, BayBuzz interviewed Ken Gilligan, new chair of a new Cranford Board, and Helen Blaxland, the new general manager, regarding the direction they foresaw for Cranford. Here’s our report — Cranford Re-Born?

The new leadership team made several assurances with regard to improving the public accountability of Cranford. These included:

1. A meeting like this forthcoming one — said Gilligan: “We can put together an afternoon or evening once we have a year completed and ask people to come along and we’ll give you a presentation from the board and from Helen and her team and talk about what is going on.”

2. More support for the extensive care Cranford supports out in the community — as we reported: “Supporting palliative care out in the community will be a new online patient record system that by the end of the year will give all care providers in the system direct access to complete, continually updated patient information. Among other benefits, this capability will enhance the existing specialist advice via telephone that is available 24/7 for Cranford patients and their GPs, whether inside or outside the Hospice.”

3. A public performance review — as we reported: “Chairman Gilligan promises that the board will issue its own ‘Annual Review’ of Cranford’s performance – in terms of both care-giving and financials – in September, marking its first year of stewardship.” Also, Cranford is participating in a quarterly bench-marking process, a nationwide self-evaluation process for assessing progress against service goals and standards. That process is monitored by the Board, and both Blaxland and Gilligan indicated they would be willing to make these performance results available to the public.

4. Presentation of a strategic plan — work on this was underway at the time of our interview.

5. Evaluating family experience — Satisfaction with care given is actively assessed through an extensive survey completed by each family upon the death of their loved one. These surveys are now to be monitored monthly by the Governance Board.

These were the assurances back in July.

As we summarized in our article: “…it appears that appropriate measures are in place, or being implemented, to enable Cranford Hospice to provide the services our community expects. So long as Cranford’s leadership team indeed is open – to critics and donors alike – and pays attention to the signals delivered by the community, they should be given their opportunity to succeed.”

Hopefully on 2 November we’ll hear about Cranford’s performance against the pledges made.

Tom Belford

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  1. As a donor who stayed loyal to Cranford during the ruckus, I'm very pleased by the new approach to accountability. Look forward to reading your next report.

  2. Sadly a patient under my care has spent over a week in the public hospital waiting for a bed to become available at Cranford this week.

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