Since launching in April 2019, more than 3,700 patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney have been supported by the free specialist palliative care provided by the joint partnership of St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).
Typically living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, chronic lung diseases – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and neurological disorders, these patients have received free care through the partnership’s varied, specialist palliative care provision available at Beccles Hospital (pictured), in the community and through the service’s 24-hour advice line, OneCall.
One local resident who receives support from this service is 70-year-old, Jean Peck, who lives in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
“The St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare team are such a fantastic support and I cannot praise them enough for helping me,” explained Jean, who has been attending Beccles Hospital, since September 2022, to receive support from the healthcare partnership’s Community Care Unit service.
“I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June last year (2022) and began receiving treatment from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and James Paget Hospital.
“It was in the August that I was contacted by the St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare team, who explained they could support me at Beccles Hospital and help me feel more comfortable during my treatment.”
The partnership’s Community Care Unit, in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, operates at Beccles Hospital, Martham Medical Centre and Sole Bay Health Centre. The service supports patients with complex needs, providing symptom control and improving ease of access to healthcare professionals as well as offering social integration.
It is aimed at those suffering from a progressive or life-limiting illness requiring the input of healthcare professionals and who would benefit from having their appointments on the same day.
Jean added: “From day one they have been brilliant. Talking to me, helping me and just checking I am as comfortable as I can be. I only visit the service in person when I need to, but it is so reassuring and lovely to know I have someone on the end of a phone, who can help and give guidance if I ever need help.
“The Community Care Unit gives a nice buffer, by allowing you independence but also providing a support network with the knowledge you are not alone.
“Before coming to St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare, to me hospice care meant you were end of life and that was that; however, the Community Care Unit have shown me this is not the case.
“Through the Community Care Unit team’s support I see life differently. They help you live life as well as you can and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
“You can have the best friends and family, who, like my own, take the time to listen to you and help you, but it is still so important to talk to professionals who have experience and understanding of your situation.
“They are all so kind and compassionate and always have time for you to listen and to answer any questions you may have, which means so much.
“I would encourage anyone who thinks they could benefit from the Community Care Unit service to get in contact with St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare. I cannot fault the care they have given me. It is a fantastic service which has made me feel safe and cared for.”
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 learn more about the Community Care Unit service visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/how-we-can-help/hospice-care/community-care-unit/.
To contact the 24-hour specialist palliative care advice line, OneCall, call 0800 567 0111.