Hospice week celebrates community’s caring stars
For many, the thought that springs to mind when hospices are mentioned is somewhere people go to die, but Kent facilities are hoping to change that stereotype this Hospice Care Week.
The week, which runs until Sunday, is a campaign by national charity Hospice UK that aims to celebrate those involved with providing care and support.
At Aylesford’s Heart of Kent Hospice, 39 nurses care for more than 1,000 people every year, both on the inpatient unit, and in the comfort of their own homes.
The hospice, which has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), relies on public donations to maintain its facilities, which also include an outpatient unit offering a range of complimentary therapies.
Last year, just 16% of its running costs came from government funding, with care for each patient costing £437 a day.
Sarah Pugh, chief executive at Heart of Kent, said: “The care we provide is so diverse that it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support of the local community.
“This year’s theme for Hospice Care Week gives us and all hospices the opportunity to showcase and celebrate the contribution made by everyone involved in supporting patients and their loved ones.”
Hospice in the Weald, based in Pembury, also relies heavily on public support, needing to raise £7 million a year to continue to provide vital care to patients and their families in Kent and Sussex.
Rob Woolley, chief executive at Hospice in the Weald, said: “The care that Hospice in the Weald provides is delivered by our fantastic, hardworking team, including doctors, nurses, counsellors, fundraisers, and hospitality.
“Not forgetting, of course, our amazing volunteers, without whom we simply wouldn’t be able to do all that we do.
“We provide Hospice care 24/7, 365 days a year, including our hospice in the home service which can often enable people to stay at home with their loved ones, if that is their wish. People can access our care by visiting our website and clicking ‘make a referral’.”
To find out more about Hospice Care Week, visit tinyurl.com/ HospiceCareKM
Mabel, a Hospice in the Weald patient, and Kirsty Simmonds, a nursing assistant; right, health care assistants Karen Goddard and Debi Golding and nurse Melissa Woolley