It’s not just the community teams that work with other organisations in the area to ensure patients and families are receiving all the care and support they need.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s day services team has recently built links with Suffolk Family Carers and Motor Neurone Disease Association to help set up and run new groups for patients and carers.
Many hospice patients rely on family members and loved ones to be their carers and St Elizabeth Hospice helps ensure they are supported, just as much as the patients are.
Every other month, the hospice holds a support group for patients, families and carers living with MND.
The group is run in collaboration with MNDA and West Suffolk Hospital, where the group is held on alternate months.
Kate Barber, day service’s sister at the hospice, helped establish the group. She said: “More and more of the people being referred to the hospice have a diagnosis of MND and as the illness affects how patients walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe, they rely on their carers to assist them with many aspects of life.
“The support group is for both patients and their carers and is well attended by both. It’s a chance for both to seek advice and support to manage their illness and cope with day to day life.
“We also invite guest speakers to come along, such as a neurologist from the hospital, so they can ask questions about their illness and ask the experts.”
Today (Wednesday 8 October) marks the beginning of the development of the hospice’s relationship with Suffolk Family Carers.
The hospice is holding a Suffolk Family Carers Coffee Morning in the Atrium at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, from 10am – 3pm, which is open to all hospice patients and their families and carers.
Staff from Suffolk Family Carers will be on hand to talk to patients and carers about how they can further support them, and refreshments will also be provided.
St Elizabeth Hospice will be offering further support and collaborating with Suffolk Family Carers to help with their Wellbeing Hut which is run once a week for carers to attend.
To ensure that all carers who wish to attend the Suffolk Family Carers Wellbeing hut are able to do so, the hospice will provide day care for patients, so the carers can go along without worrying about their loved ones as they will be in the safe hands of hospice staff.
Mrs Barber added: “We are always looking to connect with more organisations and build relationships so we can continue to provide the best care and support possible to all our patients, as well as their families and carers.
“Part of the hospice’s strategy for the next five years is to develop partnerships with other healthcare providers in the community and work together to ensure we’re meeting the needs of local people living with progressive illnesses