Wirral Hospice proudly supports #HospiceCareWeek

13027 HCW sticker BLUE_whiteHospice Care Week, which began today, aims to show everyone what exactly ‘Hospice care’ means.  Wirral’s own Hospice, Wirral Hospice St John’s, is inviting Wirral residents to take an active part in the week by launching a full programme of activities.

Come and find out about the work carried out by Wirral Hospice by dropping into The Hub café, which is right in the heart of the Hospice on Monday 6 and Wednesday 8 October between 1.30 and 3pm.

The Hospice’s brand new Information Point will be opening its doors for the first time, so visitors can see how the Hospice aims to help not just patients, but also their families and carers too. Staffed by volunteers, the Information Point will help people to see what help is available to them, from helping them access the matrix of professional care to finding out where the nearest B&Bs and hotels are.

 

Local businesses are invited into Wirral Hospice on Friday 10 October in order to see the work of the Hospice and also to see how invaluable their support is to its running. Please contact Michelle Talgam, Fundraising Development Manager on 0151 343 0778 or at michellet@wirralhospice.org if you would like to be added to the guest list.

As part of the Hospice’s Families Matter Appeal, pupils from Wirral Grammar will be sharing thoughts on what it’s like to be aged 17 with patients and staff, and seeing if the challenges they face now are very different to generations who have gone before them.

Young children are also included, with the launch of a primary school art competition.

During the week, Wirral Hospice will also have a presence at The Light cinema, in New Brighton.

“We hope that everyone on the Wirral will be touched in some way with the projects the Hospice is running during Hospice Care Week,” said Teresa Nightingale, Head of Fundraising. “We look forward to seeing people and helping them to find out more about our special work.”

For further information, please contact Wirral Hospice’s main reception on 0151 334 2778.

Author: Liz Rice, Hospice Volunteer

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Texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones #familiesmatter #hospicecare

teresa_nightingale_photo“Looking after our patients and their families is central to everything we do at Wirral Hospice St John’s. It’s the reason we are here and the reason we have grown and evolved our care so much over the last 30 years. Support from the Wirral community has helped us to do that. YOU have helped us to do that. Thank you!”

Teresa Nightingale, the Hospice’s Head of Fundraising knows it’s not as simple as just asking people for money. “Everyone has personal pressures on what they can spend their money on: mortgage or rent, bills, food, clothing, family trips, school trips, presents. We understand that, which is why we offer people options on how they might wish to support us.

Anything from taking part in a running event, where they are asking lots of people to sponsor smaller amounts towards a bigger pot, or organising their own event such as a coffee morning or afternoon tea, where again other people can contribute smaller amounts to raise a larger amount of money.

Even texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones. Or you can donate online via our JustGiving Appeal page.

We are also asking local companies to get involved, they can pick us as a Charity of the Year or organise a one-off employee event to support us. People can join our weekly lottery or buy something from one of our charity shops or gift shop. Or have a collection box in their home to catch loose change – and this is only a few suggestions of how people can help!

We also appreciate that other charities ask and need support, so we are one of several deserving organisations that people may be approached by.”

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Three of our patients talk about what our Hospice means to them and their loved ones #familiesmatter #hospicecare

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What does the word ‘Hospice’ mean to you?

If you asked that question to the patients at Wirral Hospice St John’s, you’d probably be surprised at the answer.  Largely speaking, they are confident and optimistic for the future, sure in the knowledge that, although seriously ill, they are living their lives as fully and as comfortably as possible. Hospice means a safe haven, where they are helped to live how they want as well as they can.

Diagnosis of a serious incurable condition comes as a shock to most people. They often envisage a short and bleak future. The Hospice comes in at this point and, in addition to giving care and helping people to stabilise their conditions, it gives them confidence for the future.

John, is living with cancer, he has been coming to Wirral Hospice for 18 months, “When I was diagnosed, life became absolutely full. Doctors, nurses, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy: something was going on all the time. Then, at the finish, I felt cast adrift – busy every day of the week, and then nothing. Then the Hospice came into my life, and offered me a lifeline. It was a regular thing that I could rely on.”

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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 »

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