Hospice week cel­e­brates com­mu­nity’s car­ing stars

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By Natalie Tip­ping ntip­ping@thek­m­group.co.uk @ntip­pingKM

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

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