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Rosemarie Finley’s column

Thursday 6 February 2020

Do you know what a hospice is?

Rosemarie Finley headshot

One of the big challenges hospices across the UK face is making people aware of the depth and breadth of the services we provide and addressing common misconceptions.

Something I hear quite often is that you only receive hospice care when you are dying, but this is not true. For most people, being referred to St Barnabas House is by no means ‘the end’. We provide care for local people from the point at which their illness is diagnosed as terminal to the end of their life, however long that may be.

A lot of people don’t realise that our In-patient Unit only makes up a small part of the care we provide and that one third of patients go home after a short stay on the ward with us. Often they just need help controlling a symptom such as pain or nausea, so that they can return home more comfortable and relaxed. Sometimes people even take a break from hospice care if their condition has become stable and they are feeling well.

Our thriving Day Hospice also helps to reach people far earlier in their illness, with patients visiting for a day a week to take part in fun activities, to socialise, or perhaps give their loved ones a break from caring for them.

The services we provide are flexible and vary depending on an individual’s needs and the wishes of those closest to them. In fact, not everyone referred to St Barnabas House will necessarily visit the hospice itself and the majority of our care happens in the community and in people’s homes.

St Barnabas House is not just a building and definitely not the final stop. It’s all those precious moments shared with loved ones in a caring and friendly environment of their choice.

For more information about St Barnabas House care services visit www.stbh.org.uk/our-care