OneCall is lifeline for hospice patients

St Elizabeth Hospice’s groundbreaking advice line OneCall is celebrating its fifth birthday and over 50,000 calls.

St Elizabeth Hospice was among the first hospices in the country – and the first in East Anglia – to set up an advice line which reached out directly to the general public, as well as healthcare professionals, offering support and advice on palliative care.

Since it launched in September 2010, it has grown from receiving an average of 383 calls a month in its first year, to a staggering 1,200 calls a month in 2015.

The 24-hour phoneline is manned by specialist staff and has helped thousands of people since the service began, including Roz Pryke.

Mrs Pryke’s Dad, Jon, was cared for by the hospice in 2014 and the whole family were supported by OneCall during their time of need.

Mrs Pryke said: “So many people had been involved with dad’s care but when at home, with him so poorly, we didn’t know who to call. We felt so isolated.

“Having OneCall was great. To have just one number to call any time or day or night is indeed a comfort blanket and eases one little piece of worry and anxiety when you truly don’t know what to do or where to turn.

“This amazing service is a lifeline. It allowed us to have quality time with dad, knowing in the background we had support on the end of the phone from such a professional and caring team.”
Whether it is a patient facing a new symptom, a carer worried about giving the correct dosage of pain relief or a doctor with a query, OneCall is there to support everyone in the Hospice’s catchment area.

Verity Jolly, St Elizabeth Hospice’s director of patient services, said: “Some people feel desperate when they make the calls and can be quite distressed. We get a lot of calls in the middle of the night when people may feel alone and have nowhere to turn. Families want advice around symptoms and we are able to advise them and often put their minds at rest.

“Our OneCall advice line is a very successful service and it has grown beyond expectation since it was launched five years ago, and with more people wishing to be cared for at home, I’m sure the service and the number of calls we receive will continue to grow over the years to come.”

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