“I cannot praise the staff enough for what they do. From the nurses and receptionists, through to the physiotherapists and doctors, they are all so warm and welcoming,” said David Price, who has been using the hospice’s Community Care Unit services (previously known as Day Care services) since 2012.
“The best thing about the Community Care Unit, and St Elizabeth Hospice as a whole, is when I walk through the entrance door and I immediately feel reassured and better in myself. Everyone knows you and greets you with a smile and a ‘hello’. You feel part of a community. It truly is a special organisation.”
After receiving a referral from West Suffolk Hospital, following diagnosis of emphysema and ischemic heart disease, David began receiving support from the hospice’s Community Care Unit in Ipswich.
The Community Care Unit, which launched in 2021 to replace the former Day Care services, operates from the hospice site in Ipswich, Beccles Hospital, Martham Medical Centre and Sole Bay Health Centre in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
It offers the opportunity for patients’ wellbeing and social needs to be met, while also enabling the convenience of all necessary healthcare appointments to be organised and completed in one location on the same day.
David’s wife, Glenda Price, explained: “My mum had received support from St Elizabeth Hospice at her home, so we were familiar with the services they provided but were unaware of the full range of care available.
“David has been able to use the gym, attend physiotherapy sessions and have one-to-one meetings with specialist nurses concerning pain management, which has made such a difference to his comfort.
“Over the last decade or so, David has been able to use the Community Care Unit services as and when he has needed them. However, most importantly for my family and I, has been knowing the hospice’s 24/7 phone helpline OneCall is there for us and David if we ever need guidance or advice. It is such a lifeline and makes you feel safe in the knowledge that support is there when you need it.”
David, who lives in Stowmarket, added: “Prior to my own experience of St Elizabeth Hospice, I always believed a hospice was a place where people go to die, however I now know this is not the case and the charity in fact provides support for people with a wide range of needs and the services are all delivered to a high standard.
“The staff are always there if you need them, nothing is too much trouble at all for them. They make me feel safe and reassured, despite my illness, and that I am being cared for.”
Glenda said: “The main thing is the hospice makes you feel supported. You see so many people come to the hospice to receive treatment and then they go home again after the team has made them feel as comfortable as possible. They treat every patient as a person and that makes such a difference, it really is amazing.
“I would say to anyone that if you have the offer to receive support from the hospice, then you should grab the opportunity with both hands, you will not regret it. It is a warm, welcoming place to be and a service which supports both the patient and their family.”
More details about the Community Care Unit can be found at www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/how-we-can-help/hospice-care/community-care-unit.