Julie Gorry, Wirral Hospice St John’s Chief Executive talks about how Hospice care has evolved and how the building work, currently underway at the Hospice, will enhance our care and support for patients, their carers and families. All thanks to our wonderful Wirral supporters!
“During the nine years I have been at Wirral Hospice St John’s, public understanding of the work we do has changed quite substantially, and continues to do so. We are constantly adapting to the needs of patients but also the changing needs of the community as a whole.
It is quite apparent that people wish to spend as little time as possible as an inpatient, much preferring their condition to be managed in such a way that allows them to enjoy as high a quality of life as possible, ideally in their own homes. Patients come to our 16-bed Inpatient Ward for only as long as it takes to stabilise their condition. Often, this can be for just a few days.
The extension and refurbishment of the oldest part of the main Hospice, currently underway, means that we will be able to implement even more efficiently the vision of Integrated Shared Care. This aims to bring all the health and social care professionals together, allowing them to work even more effectively, and offering the patients, their families and carers wraparound care.
We like to think of this new way of working as a ‘Hospice without walls’. In essence, more patients will be helped to live as comfortably as possible with their illness, and we believe that those supporting and caring for them will also benefit, feeling recognised and supported during what can be an extremely difficult time.
We are also developing a programme with schools, using John Bear, to help educate and support children who might experience the death of a loved one, friend or teacher or are currently experiencing someone close to them living with a long-term or life-limiting condition.
This ambitious aim has been supported by a £550,000 grant from the Dept of Health, and also, yet again, by the generosity of the Wirral public. We launched our Families Matter Appeal last November, with the target of raising £250,000, specifically to plough into this project. The name ‘Families Matter’ was chosen to represent, as accurately as possible, the thinking of our Hospice.
As always, the people of Wirral are digging deep. It has been amazing to see how supportive they have been to the Hospice over the years. Public funds founded Wirral Hospice St John’s in the first place. Now, here we are, some 30 years later, with an army of 500 volunteers, our Hospice Heroes, giving their time on a regular basis, and countless people fundraising to ensure the Hospice is able to offer the highest possible standard of care. It is humbling to see the efforts that are made by these generous and selfless souls.
So, thank you to everyone. We are trying to improve all the time – because families matter to all of us.”
Author: Liz Rice, Wirral Hospice volunteer
This article will also be featured in the Wirral Globe and Wirral News on Wed 21 May 2014
Public and Professional ‘open days’ will be advertised in the coming weeks