Published on: Monday 25 Jan 2021 at 12:28
Our Hospice at Home service, which was launched in January 2014, is celebrating its seventh birthday this month.
The team of registered nurses and nursing assistants provide free, short-term, compassionate care for people with life-limiting illnesses in the comfort of their own home, across West Essex, and have cared for more than 3,500 patients and their families over the past 7 years.
In 2019/20 our Hospice at Home team provided support for over 780 families, spending approximately 1,400 hours each month ensuring that patients, families and their carers received compassionate care, at the right time and in the right place. The team have been working harder than ever during the COVID pandemic as the need for Hospice at Home services continues to grow.
Hospice at Home Manager, Sonia Haigh, said: “Our team has worked so hard over the past seven years but the last ten months, as we have continued to care on the frontline through the COVID pandemic, have been one of the most challenging times in the history of our team. Our service has never been more needed, as we support patients to discharge as quickly from hospital to relieve the pressure on the NHS, and to care for as many people as possible in the place of their choice – which is so often their own home.
“We work closely with local GPs, District Nurses, social and voluntary sector professionals to make sure our patients receive co-ordinated care. Hospice at Home care can help to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, provide short-term care for rapid discharge from hospital while awaiting a care package, and provide hands-on compassionate care in the last weeks of a person’s life in the comfort of their own home. Home is special, and being able to provide support to people in the comfort of their own home, if that is where they want to be, is a real honour for St Clare.”
Commenting on the care that she and her husband of 53 years, Peter, received from the Hospice at Home team in July 2020, Pat Prothero said: “My husband, Peter, died at home under St Clare Hospice’s care in July – he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2018. Peter was still able to drive up until three weeks before he died but then in June he really started to go downhill very quickly. He ended up in hospital overnight, and nobody could see him, but thankfully he was able to return home. I had the Hospice at Home team come and help – they were brilliant. Peter died at home, it was better like that because of the virus, and we wanted to be with him. I’m so glad St Clare were able to help me care for him at home.”
Referrals can be made by all health, social and voluntary care professionals, including GPs, District Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists, social care or hospital teams. Also, patients, their family, or carer can refer themselves directly. The team will then need to discuss the referral with the patient’s GP. For more information visit: stclarehospice.org.uk/hospice-home