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05 Mar

Open Up Hospice Care


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Isabel Hospice Champions campaign to widen access to care

Isabel Hospice is joining forces with other hospices across the UK to support a new campaign aimed at widening access to the vital support they provide for people with life-limiting conditions and those who care for them.

The Open Up Hospice Care campaign – which launches today (4th March) and is led by Hospice UK- highlights how hospice care is available beyond hospice in-patient units, including in people’s homes.

Isabel Hospice was chosen from hundreds of hospices nationwide, to showcase the specialist care in that goes on in people’s homes. An Isabel Hospice community Clinical Nurse Specialist Jean was shadowed during two days of filming to highlight the amazing community hospice care that is on offer including meeting Kipp, whose wife Amy died of lung cancer just before Christmas, Lorna, who has attended our Living Well sessions since 2012 and Barbara, who came into our In-Patient Unit before Christmas to get her pain under control, and is now living back at home.

One in four people in the UK miss out on the care they need according to earlier research by the Hospice UK - due to a range of reasons including: late or a lack of referrals to hospice services and low levels of awareness about hospice care and where and when this support is available.

Also, studies have shown that people from economically deprived areas, BAME (black and minority ethnic) communities and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people can experience barriers to accessing end of life care services.

Isabel Hospice is working to tackle this through initiatives to extend care to more people, such as expanding community services and reaching out to the different groups of people who have been missing out on vital support, including those caring for their loved ones at home.

Isabel Hospice, cares for people in communities across eastern Hertfordshire including, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield and cared for 1,555 people last year. Isabel have a dedicated clinical nurse specialist for people living with heart failure, as well as a dedicated nurse working with those living with dementia.

Hospices provide wide-ranging support for both people with life-limiting conditions and their families, including: counselling, bereavement support and respite care.

Today Hospice UK publishes the findings of a new survey by ComRes which found that seven in ten UK adults (72%) say that support from a local hospice would make them feel more confident in supporting a loved one with a terminal condition at home.

And more than eight in ten (82%) UK adults surveyed say the role of hospices will become more important in the next decade. Eight in ten (83%) of those who think this, say it is due to the growing care needs of the UK’s ageing population.

The ComRes survey also showed that half of UK adults surveyed (48%) are aware that hospices receive the majority of their funding from fundraising and donations (e.g. via charity shops, communities, lotteries). Nearly a fifth of those surveyed (17%) incorrectly think that hospices receive the majority of their funding from the NHS.

Robin Webb, Chief Executive Officer of Isabel Hospice said:
“In the last year we’ve cared for a record number of people – and as the film shows we’ve been opening up hospice care to many more people living with heart failure, lung disease and degenerative neuro conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease.

We’ve also recruited a specialist Dementia nurse to provide expert advice to the growing number of families supporting a loved one with Dementia, and our new specialist Care Home Nurse is supporting staff in care homes to provide better care for people in the last year of life, especially as their symptoms change, helping avoid unnecessary trips to hospital.

But we won’t be able to continue these services without further support from our local communities – please do make a donation or organise a fundraising event to provide care for local people – £12 pays for half an hour of specialist nursing care”

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said:
“For some, hospice care can seem a remote reality but we are all living longer, often with complex health conditions, and more of us will need this care in the future ourselves, or will be caring for a loved one who does.

As our survey shows, the British public clearly values the role of hospices and recognises they will become more important in future given the seismic shift in our rapidly ageing society and with the increasing strain on the NHS. However despite this, many people find out about hospice care far too late.

With its focus on comfort not cure and promoting quality of life and what matters most to people, hospice care can help them live well until the end of life and support their loved ones and it is available in more places than most people realise.

We want to share the benefits of hospice care more widely so that everyone is able to get this vital support and wherever they want.”