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Hugh Lowson’s column: Providing hospice care in patients’ own homes

Friday 9 February 2018

Hugh Lowson outside St Barnabas House

When talking to people in our local community who haven’t directly come into contact with our care services, I often have conversations with those who believe we only provide care at the hospice itself.

This is a common misconception people have about hospices across the UK. Historically, hospice care was provided at a building, but national stats now show that In-patient Units account for just 16% of patients cared for.

During 2016/17 a total of 401 patients, 26% of all the patients we cared for during that period, were admitted to our In-patient Unit.

Last year we expanded our Hospice at Home Team, enabling us to care for more local people in their own homes. In 2016/17 the Hospice at Home team provided care for 310 patients, 20% of the total we cared for.

Not everyone is able to choose where they receive end of life care, but many people would rather stay at home. We always take the patient’s preference into account, but unfortunately we cannot always guarantee admission to our In-patient Unit if all of our beds are occupied.

Many patients would actually prefer to stay at home, and our Hospice at Home Team will work with other community services to support you there by providing palliative care at home, providing it is safe and appropriate.

Our Hospice at Home Team is based at St Barnabas House, and is available to provide care seven days a week, 365 days a year, from 8:30am to 9pm. We also operate a night sitting service from 10pm to 7pm.

Find out more about our Hospice at Home service here.

Hugh Lowson is the Chief Executive of St Barnabas House. His column is published every Thursday in the Worthing Herald, Shoreham Herald and Littlehampton Gazette.
This column was first published on Thursday 8 February 2018.
Read Hugh’s previous column about our Hit the Downs MTB cycling challenge.