Tuesday, 02 June 2020

Hospice charity says home care service is helping more people

Hospice charity says home care service is helping more people

MORE than 300 people have been cared for in their own homes in the first year of Sue Ryder’s “hospice at home” service.

The charity’s South Oxfordshire palliative care hub launched on April 9 last year and since then Sue Ryder nurses have visited patients across the area to provide end-of-life care.

The hub also includes a new telephone helpline run by Sue Ryder nurses and consultants to provide patients, families, carers and healthcare professionals advice.

The service is designed to reduce the need for in-patient beds at the charity’s hospice in Nettlebed and it says 148 unnecessary hospital admissions have also been avoided as a result of the pilot.

Sue Ryder is seeking to move its beds at Joyce Grove to other locations and then sell the listed building and 27 acres of grounds.

News of the closure sparked concern among people who attend the day clinics at the hospice for advice and therapies.

Many have made plans to die at the hospice and were worried that these would be disrupted.

But the charity says the hub has received overwhelming support from patients in its first year.

Director Maria Turnbull said: “Since launching the hub, our medical and nursing team has been able to significantly increase the amount of care we provide.

“The way people want to receive end-of-life care is changing. Sue Ryder’s research showed that 80 per cent of people felt that patients should be given a choice and The Office for National Statistics found that around two in three people would prefer to die at home.

“We felt that it was important to be able to provide our local community with a choice between dying in a hospital, a hospice setting or in their own home. We are incredibly proud of the positive impact offering that choice has had so far.

“I want to say thank you to each and every one of our supporters. We rely on your generous donations and without you our nurses could not have been there when it mattered for our patients and their families.”

Patricia Allen, of Binfield Heath, whose husband John was cared for at home by the hospice at home team, said: “John said he would like to be cared for at home and to die at home. He wanted to be in his own place and I and all the family supported him in this.

“To everybody that I’ve spoken to since John’s death I’ve praised the Sue Ryder nurses with every positive adjective you could possibly use.”

Sue Ryder says the hub has also created 17 new jobs in the area and it plans to further grow the service by recruiting more nurses and nursing assistants.

Last month, the Henley Standard reported that the number of beds at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed had been reduced by half.

The charity closed six of its 12 beds saying they were no longer needed because of a drop in demand for inpatient care.

It said that over the past six months the bed occupancy rate has been between 50 and 60 per cent at most and on several weeks it dropped to 40 per cent.

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