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Hospice Care Week: Seven of the less well-known facts associated with hospice care

Monday 3 October 2016

This week is Hospice Care Week which is about highlighting the extraordinary care that hospices provide, particularly the things that people would not normally know about.

We have decided to share some of the less well-known facts associated with hospice care to dispel some of the common misconceptions people have about hospices.

Hospice Care Week

Aurora (right) is our Dementia Lead Nurse who is developing our services to become more dementia friendly, while Margaret (left) is a volunteer who knits “twiddlemuffs”.

Hospice care is… not just for people with cancer

Here at St Barnabas House we have recently created a new specialist nursing service with four new dedicated nurse specialists who will be working across key areas of care.

Our new nurses will ensure we are able to provide a specialist care for patients with Renal Failure, Liver Failure and Heart Failure, and improve our existing services to meet the needs of people living with Dementia.

We are very proud to be leading the way as one of the first UK hospices to bring in such specialist staff.

Find out more about our Hospice Care Pioneers developments.

Hospice Care Week

Most of the money needed to pay for all our care services throughout the year comes from fundraising and people’s donations.

Hospice care is… absolutely free and only partially funded by the NHS

Did you know that all of the services provided by St Barnabas House are absolutely free of charge, but we only receive 21% statutory funding?

Most of the £5.9 million it costs to provide all of our care services throughout the year comes from fundraising and through people’s donations.

Find out how to make a donation or get involved with fundraising for St Barnabas House.

An increasing number of people are now able to live the end of their lives in their own homes using our Hospice at Home service, rather than coming into the In-patient Unit.

Hospice Care Week

Hospice care is… not just based around a building

During the mid-1960s, when Dr Gusterson first proposed the idea of St Barnabas, there were a high number of cancer deaths occurring in the area, either at home or in commercial nursing homes. People would generally come to the hospice for the end of their lives.

But since then, developments in healthcare have enabled an increasing number of people to comfortably live the end of their lives in their own homes.

In 2012 we launched our Hospice at Home service, and last year we were able to provide “hands on care” at home for 429 patients, providing 5,690 hours of care in the local community, plus an additional 3,717 hours night visits.

Find out more about our Hospice at Home service.

Hospice Care Week

It doesn’t matter how old you are or whether you still have months left to live, our services allow us to provide end of life care for people at various points

Hospice care is… not just for those in their final days

Over many years we have developed our hospice care services to enable us to provide care and support for those who aren’t just in their final days.

Our Day Hospice provides respite care for the day and runs a range of activities and social events for people with life-limiting conditions at various different stages. It provides an informal setting for mutual support, enhancing confidence and wellbeing.

On some occasions people will come into our In-patient Unit and their condition will improve enough for them to be discharged.

It also doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re 18 or 98, the care services we provide are available to any adult with an advanced life-limiting condition or terminal illness who needs our help.

Find out more about being referred to St Barnabas House.

Hospice Care Week

Our Family Services team offer a wide range of different services which support the whole family, including counselling, chaplaincy, bereavement and carer support.

Hospice care is… about supporting the whole family

At St Barnabas we know how difficult a time it can be when a family member or someone close to you is diagnosed with a serious illness. It can be a distressing, frightening and lonely time, which leaves you with a sense of helplessness and loss of control.

There are a whole range of different services we provide to support the families of those we care for, including counselling, chaplaincy, bereavement support and our Carers Group.

Find out more about the support provided by our Family Services team.

Hospice Care Week

Valerie Wilson used to be a rocker but had not been on a Harley Davidson for 30 years until they paid a special visit to the hospice this September.

Hospice care is… about creating special memories

It’s easy to think that the final few days, weeks or months of life is about reminiscing about the past, but at St Barnabas House we always look to provide special memories and experiences for the people we care for.

For example, we were recently visited by a group of Harley Davidsons. For one lady from the Day Hospice in particular, this was a truly special experience as she used to be a rocker and had not been on a Harley Davidson in over 30 years.

Find out more about the Day Hospice.

Hospice Care Week

Those visiting the Day Hospice recently took part in Cruise Week, visiting Germany, Spain, France and Italy with various different activities taking place throughout the week.

Hospice care is… about living, not dying

As much as hospice care is about providing care for those with terminal illnesses, it is also about ensuring that those people are able to live their lives as fully as possible.

‘Wellbeing’ is the name we give to rehabilitative palliative care – enabling patients not to simply continue living, but to maximise their physical and mental health; giving them the chance to achieve a better quality of life, for longer.

To enable this, we have to reach people earlier, so we will be promoting St Barnabas’ rehabilitative care service as soon as possible following a diagnosis.

Over the next few years, we will continue to develop our internal clinical and support service to improve the experience of those we care for.

Find out more about our Hospice Care Pioneers developments.

To find out more about how you can get involved in hospice care week and support St Barnabas House, please visit www.stbh.org.uk/hospicecareweek or contact the Fundraising Team on 01903 254777.