Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Rotary Club of Henley Bridge meeting

STEWART MARKS, director of the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, gave a talk on the charity

STEWART MARKS, director of the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, gave a talk on the charity to members at their meeting at Badgemore Park Golf Club last week.

He shone light on the work of the Sue Ryder hospices around the country, all of which rely on donations, legacies and fund–raising in their local communities to survive.

The funding from NHS clinical commissioning groups is less than 30 per cent of the total annual costs. Mr Marks told how Joyce Grove in Nettlebed was bequeathed by the Fleming family to a London hospital in 1938 and then purchased in 1979 by Sue Ryder.

Because of Joyce Grove’s large size and number of rooms, the charity is able to offer 12 in–patient beds as well as a range of activities, such as hospice day care, therapies, family support and counselling for the bereaved.

Mr Marks stressed that patients are now referred to the hospice with a variety of life–limiting illnesses, not only cancer. These conditions may be emphysema, motor neurone disease, heart failure and others.

Sue Ryder also runs neurological centres for those with MS, Huntingdon’s, epilepsy and brain injuries. A surprise to many is the fact that Sue Ryder’s medical staff start to plan the discharge of each patient from the moment they arrive.

The ideal is that they return to their own home but it may be to a halfway centre or to a residential home, depending on the severity of the condition and the ability of families to cope.

Mr Marks went on to talk about Sue Ryder’s future plans: admissions around the clock, day hospice services seven days a week, the development of hospice care in the patient’s own home and many more.

He referred to the decision to pull out of the Townlands Hospital redevelopment scheme. He said patient beds on the second floor and staff and day care services accommodated away from the hospital would not have been an ideal arrangement.

David Napier gave the vote of thanks, saying how proud the club was to have been involved with major fund–raising for the Nettlebed hospice for more than 22 years.

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