It’s time to Think Talk Act with Pilgrims Hospices

Pilgrims Hospices’ Think Talk Act (TTA) campaign encourages people to start important conversations with family, friends and caregivers about the care they would like to receive if and when their health deteriorates.

Our hope and ultimate aim is that these initial talks will inform plans regarding an individual’s future care – for example, in the form of an Advance Care Plan (ACP) – making difficult times more manageable by eliminating confusion about a person’s wishes.

TTA began in May 2021; in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the importance of thinking and planning ahead regarding our health has been brought sharply into focus.


The first component is: Think. As part of the Think Pilot, Ashford Primary Care Network will be partnering with Pilgrims to jointly trial this landmark project. Two surgeries have been identified, Sydenham House and New Hayesbank, with both having a combined patient list of 31k.

Think information sessions will be delivered at the Therapy Centre in our Ashford hospice, by the Pilgrims Hospices team, to people considered to be within a ‘moderate’ frailty cohort at each surgery. These sessions will be structured and include takeaway literature and the opportunity to gain awareness of ACPs, Lasting Power of Attorney and other relevant topics.

The sessions began on Tuesday 18 January 2022. Potential attendees received an invite letter, which was previously reviewed at both surgeries’ Patient Participation Groups.

The initial pilot sessions will be run by a mixture of staff and volunteers, with the aim to be fully volunteer-led as the campaign expands.

We will be holding 24 sessions between January-April 2022 and have capacity to deliver these sessions to 360 patients and their chosen one guest, making our audience for the events 720 people.

The sessions will be fully evaluated.


This part of the pilot is currently being prepared, ready for implementation during the first quarter of 2022. With our partners, a project meeting was held on 1 December 2021 to agree and sign off the process. Next, we will hold a meeting with our Primary Care Network to work together to implement this. 

We will proactively identify patients who are at risk of being in the last year of life, and these patients will be invited for a wellbeing assessment utilising IPOS to identify symptoms that would benefit from Pilgrims’ Therapy Centre programmes / services. 

Full service implementation

After a successful bid with the Social Investment Fund, it has been agreed the project should be “pump primed” financially to enable a three-year rollout across east Kent. A business case will be provided by Kent and Medway CCG agreeing repayment to the Social Finance Team. Regular meetings have been set up to progress this, as well as to review the success of the pilot.

Each year, Pilgrims Hospices give care and comfort to thousands of people in east Kent who are coming to terms with an illness that sadly cannot be cured. The charity support patients to live life as well as possible until the very end, free from pain and distress.