Since April this year the Hospice has been getting busier and by June was supporting 784 patients and their families.
93 year old Ted, a patient recently admitted to the Inpatient Unit, believes many people think like him. “I thought the Hospice was where you came to die. When I was working, I played in a charity football match. They said the money raised was for the Hospice - where you go to die!”
Ted has bladder cancer; he is staunchly independent and lives alone. After a short stay in Hospital to have a kidney removed, the Hospital referred him to the Hospice. When he received a call from the Hospice Community Team asking him to come into the Hospice for symptom control care he was very concerned, “Is it where I go to die?” he asked. The Community nurse assured Ted it wasn’t and asked if he could visit him at his home. “He came to my home and explained everything to me, how the Hospice worked.”
Ted was admitted to the Hospice for symptom control. He says, “every day is different, they don’t tell the same jokes day in day out. Not only have they helped me medically but everyone I’ve met has made me feel welcome not just because of the smile on their face but in their tone of voice too. The food is fantastic. Just a few days ago I was wheeled into the garden. We sat and enjoyed the peace and tranquillity. The grounds are so beautifully tendered. There were even a few planes overhead to appreciate too.”
Ted’s stay on the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit was been slightly longer than the average 10 days. This is largely due to putting the right care package in place for when he was discharged. Our outstanding Hospice care is free of charge, 24/7 and involves the Hospice team liaising with other specialists to ensure patients can live in comfort and with dignity in their place of choice be that at home, in nursing home or care home.
Consultant of Palliative Medicine at the Hospice, Kumi explains, “I feel so privileged to be able to support patients and their families at such a difficult time in their lives, to help patients live in comfort and achieve their goals is extremely rewarding.”
Ted is one of 35% of patients in the last three months to have stayed on the Inpatient Unit and been discharged. To anyone not sure about the Hospice and how they can help Ted says, “I would recommend it to everyone. STOP, THINK and make enquiries. Don’t be afraid it’s not as it is rumoured to be.”
Less than 50% of Hospice patients have a cancer diagnosis and the majority of patients are supported in the comfort of their own homes. In fact, the Hospice Community Team made 542 home visits to patients in the first three months of the year and, supported them with 4,616 phone calls.