Dr Catherine Hayle about broadening range of illnesses that need #hospicecare #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_catherine_hayleWhen Dame Cicely Saunders founded the Hospice movement in 1967, she was primarily concerned with cancer patients. In recent years thinking has moved on, and now Hospice services are opening up to patients based on their needs, not just their diagnoses. In other words, people with illnesses other than cancer who are in need of palliative care can now access Hospice care.

This is an aspect of Hospice care that Wirral Hospice St John’s is embracing and it’s a key focus to develop our work in this area. When Dr Catherine Hayle joined the organisation as a locum Consultant in Palliative Medicine, her role was to develop the Hospice services specifically in relation to caring for the needs of patients with non-malignant conditions, including, for example, chronic heart, kidney and lung disease.

Much of Catherine’s time has been taken up with putting the word out to the GPs, the hospital teams, and meeting with older people in Wirral, to let them know that the Hospice care is available to all patients who need it.

“In just a year we have seen a threefold increase in non-cancer referrals. Improvements in treatment have been so great that now two out of three cancer patients live for more than five years after diagnosis. Cancer, although very serious, can now be considered to be a chronic illness, in the way that respiratory disease and heart failure are.” Read the rest of this entry »


Dr Fawad Ahmad about our work in the community #hospicecare #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_fawad_ahmadOver the last few weeks we have been talking about Wirral Hospice St John’s reaching out into the community, and the phrase ‘Hospice without walls’ has been used. In essence, this is giving patients who are not actually staying in the Hospice access to the services and benefits it can offer. It allows them to remain in their own homes during what can be a very difficult phase of their lives.

Palliative care consultant Dr Fawad Ahmad is a crucial member of the team that is turning the phrase into reality. Within the Hospice he takes responsibility for eight of the beds in the 16-bed Inpatient Unit. In addition, he and his consultant colleague, Dr Helen Emms, spend much of their time out in the community.

“We go to the homes of patients who cannot attend Outpatient Clinics for one reason or another. We get requests from their GP, the district nurse or the Community Palliative Care team, and we carry out assessments with a holistic view, looking at patients’ physical, psychological and spiritual needs, as well as their social conditions.

Together with whoever made the referral, the patient themselves and their families and carers we aim to devise a needs-based plan resulting in the best possible care for the patient.” Read the rest of this entry »

Will to face fear in memory of mum #hospicehero

Will Rowlands will face one of his biggest fears on 20th June for a charity that is very close to the hearts of his family. will_rowlands_wirralhospice_skydivephoto - Copy

After his mum, Diane was diagnosed with Cancer in 2013, Will wanted to leave a legacy in her name and so chose to embark on a fundraising adventure that will see him fall 10,000 feet from a plane at 120mph in her memory.

“My fundraising has been fantastic! I managed to hit my target a few weeks ago by sharing my Just Giving page on Facebook. The support I have received is incredible. My partner Lucinda has been sharing my challenge with her friends and colleagues – she’s more excited for me to fall out of the plane than I am!”

Sponsored charity skydives are a fantastic way for supporters to embrace a challenge and raise money for a good cause. The experience can never be forgotten and is one that makes a huge difference to charity.

Fundraising Co-ordinator Kerry Threadgill reflects on the fantastic progress Will has made since he initially signed up for the challenge. “We are thrilled with the incredible amount Will has raised for the Hospice so far! Even though he is currently going through a very sad time, he has been 100% dedicated to raising as much as he can in support of our good work. By facing his fear, he has raised £1,190.41 for Wirral Hospice, which is just amazing!”

“I’m really looking forward to the day – having been signed up for so long now, I’m just itching to get on that plane and get going! Being able to give something back to the incredible people at Wirral Hospice is just a small way for me, my family and my mum to say thank you for the care and support Wirral Hospice give to those who need it most”.

To find out more about skydiving for Wirral Hospice, email kerryt@wirralhospice.org

Visit Will’s Just Giving page to see his progress!


Viki Whaley talks about #HospiceatHome #familiesmatter

wirral_hospice_viki_whaleyHaving joined Wirral Hospice St John’s as Ward Manager in July 2012, Viki Whaley has seen her role change substantially. She is now Clinical Manager with responsibility for the integration of Information Technology from a clinical point of view; she is also responsible nursing staff levels and for the Hospice at Home service.

There is a common thread running through these areas: the enrichment of care by integrating all the services a patient might need.

“I see the new build at the Hospice adding huge value to our work By bringing all the health and social care professionals together under one roof we can ensure that work is not wasted through duplication. And by focusing on improving processes we can help nurses spend more time on patient care, which is what everyone wants.”

The new IT system will make a huge difference in speed and efficiency. “All the specialist nurses and district nurses will be using the same system. This will streamline the collection of information, leading to improved communications between all the services.

Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing our Wirral Comets #hospiceheroes #volunteersweek

Wirral Hospice St John’s is very proud to introduce a new support group: The Wirral Comets!

The Wirral Comets have been set up by some of the fundraising volunteers at the Hospice and together enjoy social events such as visits to the theatre, meals out, cinema trips, as well as working as a group help to support and organise fundraising events to raise much-needed funds for the Hospice.

They have lots of fun along the way and are full of smiles and cheery optimism when facing adversity; such as terrible weather at outdoor events, having to professionally wrap a gazillion items for our raffles, helping us to unjam the photocopier when we’re trying to print out posters for an event, thinking of new ways to encourage people to visit our charity stands at events… The list could go on and on!

They are an amazingly friendly bunch and would love to welcome new faces to the gang. If you would be interested in becoming a Wirral Comet, please call Teresa or Hayley on 0151 343 0778 or email  teresan@wirralhospice.org / hayley@wirralhospice.org – we can also put you in touch with some of the group directly so you can hear from them about their experiences (which hopefully won’t put you off wishing to join!!!).

Thank you again to our wonderful Wirral Comets, you’re all fantastic Hospice Heroes!

Author: Teresa Nightingale

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