St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) are celebrating success following the second anniversary of the partnership delivering free specialist palliative care in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
Since launching in April 2019, more than 1,950 patients, living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and neurological disorder, and their families, have received free support through the partnership’s varied specialist care provision.
In 2020 alone, more than 1,140 patients and their families were directly cared for by the partnership via the service’s 24-hour advice line OneCall, at Beccles Hospital, in the community across Waveney and Great Yarmouth or received support through the hospice’s emotional, wellbeing and bereavement support service, LivingGrief.
Two years after launching, St Elizabeth Hospice and ECCH are reflecting on the positive impact their service has brought to the coastal communities of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and the surrounding area, while also outlining their ambition to continue to help more people living with life-limiting conditions in these communities.
In the coming months, there are plans to increase the capacity for day facilities and also develop the Compassionate Communities work that has been undertaken, engaging local communities in coming together to support each other.
Hanna McDowell, Head of Therapies and Community Care Unit at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Over the last two years it has been a privilege to work together with ECCH to make a real difference to patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
“During this time we have made a lot of progress but we are both committed to continuing this service provision and to evolve our support, in order to help more patients and their families through difficult times in their lives.
“Most importantly, we are encouraging anyone in the region who is living with life-limiting condition or who has a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with an illness that requires palliative care, to get in touch. Our teams are here to support you and to provide guidance and care, whenever and wherever it is needed.”
The joint initiative was established to provide free specialist palliative care from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting condition. This is facilitated by one united team coordinating and simplifying the care service for patients and their families meaning it can be more effective at managing their last days in the way they wish.
As part of the collaboration between the two organisations, St Elizabeth Hospice provides specialist consultant support to six palliative care beds in Beccles Hospital, which is run by ECCH.
The service also offers community care unit facilities, clinical nurse specialists to visit patients in their own homes as well as emotional wellbeing and bereavement support.
ECCH’s Executive Director of Operations, Adele Madin said: “It is great to be able to mark this second anniversary knowing that we have managed to maintain the numbers of patients we have been able to support despite the pandemic.
“We have done everything we can to ensure those being cared for at Beccles have been able to stay in touch with loved ones on iPads when they couldn’t be there in person.
“Meanwhile, our Primary Care Home teams have ensured those living at home can continue to live their best life as long as possible with the support of our physiotherapists and occupational therapists as well as our specialist palliative care nurses.
“I am very proud of the partnership we have forged with St Elizabeth Hospice and we will be building on what we have achieved so far, innovating and evolving the service, to ensure people in Great Yarmouth and Waveney continue to receive high quality palliative care.”
For more information about the partnership’s services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/how-we-can-help/hospice-care/great-yarmouth_and-waveney.
To contact the 24-hour specialist palliative care advice line, OneCall, call 0800 567 0111.