St Clare Hospice opens up to explain #ThisIsWhatItTakes to run a Hospice during a pandemic

Charity / Wed 30th Sep 2020 at 06:45am

Local Hospice opens up to explain #ThisIsWhatItTakes to run a Hospice during a pandemic

AS part of this year’s Hospice Care Week – running 5-11 October, St Clare Hospice will be opening its virtual doors to local people to explain ‘This is what it takes’ to keep a Hospice running through a pandemic.

The West Essex and East Hertfordshire charity will be sharing its news in two Open Hospice events, taking place on Tuesday 6th October at 7pm and Wednesday 7th October at 2pm, via meeting platform Zoom.

Attendees will hear from a range of speakers who will be updating on services – including those newly developed to meet local need in light of Covid, sharing the Hospice’s recent achievements and explaining how people can get involved in helping the Hospice to shape its future plans.

Sally Muylders, Community Engagement Manager at St Clare Hospice, said: “Being an open and welcoming Hospice sits at the heart of how we support people in our local community. However, with the risks associated with the spread of Covid, we’ve had to restrict access to our Hospice in ways that we’ve never done before, in order to keep our patients, staff and volunteers safe.

“We’ve been working hard over the recent months to make sure people have access to services that meet their needs during this difficult time, which has meant doing things differently and adopting new technology to carry on supporting people. The last six months have been challenging, and we know that the road ahead will continue to be difficult, but we will continue being here to support everyone in our local community around death, dying and loss.

“This is why, as part of Hospice Care Week, we are opening our virtual doors wide to re-connect with everyone in our local community. We want to tell people about our new services and ensure that people know there are still many ways to get involved and keep supporting St Clare Hospice.”

Throughout the pandemic, St Clare Hospice has continued to deliver specialist palliative care for people nearing the end of their life, whilst supporting their friends and families. This has included, in the last year: 

·         6,996 home visits by the Hospice’s Hospice at Home team

·         1,178 sessions with the Hospice’s Patient and Family Support team

·         214 admissions to the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit

·         1,666 day therapy sessions, including physiotherapy and occupational health

·         781 people supported by the Hospice’s Clinical Nurse Specialists, which included 1,437 visits and 2,529 supportive phone calls

·         54 socially isolated people matched through the Hospice’s Compassionate Neighbours scheme (106 in total), with 48 new Compassionate Neighbours joining making – 112 in total. 

·         The Hospice has trained 38 people as bereavement facilitators, set up 7 local Bereavement Cafés which have had 896 attendances

In addition to this, St Clare Hospice has developed new services and reshaped existing ones to continue supporting people during, what has been for many, a difficult and isolating period.

During the lockdown period, the Hospice moved all of its Bereavement Café support into the virtual sphere, by setting up online communities via Facebook and continuing to offer people a chance to meet and share experiences via Zoom; almost 200 people are now engaging in the Facebook groups, offering and receiving bereavement support. 

The Hospice’s Compassionate Neighbours programme, which brings friendship to the lives of people who are socially isolated and frail or living with a life-limiting illnesses, moved its support from face to face visits to telephone support and broadened this out to offer support to staff and residents in 40 local care homes. It delivered virtual training to attract new Compassionate Neighbours to support more isolated people; 65 people received this training and the Community members who were matched during the pandemic have now received over 800 hours of social and emotional support. 

Additionally, in June 2020, with funding from the National Lottery’s Community Project, the Hospice launched a brand new Bereavement Support Helpline, offering support, a listening ear and guidance to all in the local community.

This year, when the Hospice was intending to celebrate its 30th birthday, St Clare was formally recognised for its outstanding specialist care by the Care Quality Commission, which gave the Hospice an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating, an uplift on the previous rating of ‘Good’. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the Hospice was unable to celebrate either of these notable accomplishments; the Open Hospice events are the first opportunity to celebrate with people in its local community. 

The Open Hospice events are free, and open to everyone. However, those looking to attend will need to first register on Eventbrite. They will then be sent the details so that they can join one of the two Zoom events. 

·         To register for the event on Tuesday 6th October, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-hospice-tickets-121649363521

·         To register for the event on Wednesday 7th October, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-hospice-tickets-121650835925

People in need of bereavement support, can call St Clare Hospice’s Bereavement Helpline on 01279 967670

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