St Elizabeth Hospice launches £3m community appeal to help people die at home
In Ipswich and east Suffolk only 1% of people would like to die in hospital, but locally, our CCG reports a rate greater than 40%.This stark statistic is behind St Elizabeth Hospice’s latest campaign ‘No Place Like Home’ which is aimed at helping people, who are at the end of life, out of hospital to their preferred place of death be that a care home, hospice or even their own home surrounded by loved ones.
St Elizabeth Hospice is working with the East Suffolk End of Life Programme Board to transform the way in which end of life care is delivered in the area. As well as offering increased levels of care from its own team the hospice will act as a care co-ordinating hub bringing together organisations caring for those at the end of life to make sure patients are cared for by exactly the right person at the right time.
The hospice already acts as a central point of access to information, care and round the clock support and advice for many people and care organisations but this project provides the opportunity for that to be expanded to encompass all who need it.
Mark Millar, St Elizabeth Hospice’s CEO, told us “Too many people who don’t want to or need to die in hospital in Suffolk currently do. We are determined to help improve this situation. The hospice has already strengthened our Community Team and through this appeal we will continue to do so.
We have received an initial grant of £400k from the Programme Board to kick start the ‘No Place Like Home’ initiative but this is a small fraction of what it is going to cost to deliver the full project. We estimate to deliver patients choice, in addition to statutory funding, St Elizabeth Hospice will need to raise an additional £3m over the next three years to be able to sustain the project. The initial aim, working with the hospital, is to identify the people who are at end of life who don’t want to be there and quickly get them to where they want to be. ”
Sarah Godfrey, head of St Elizabeth Hospice’s Community Team said “Not many people realise that around 70% of the care the hospice provides is in the community. Our team of clinical nurse specialists, community healthcare assistants and volunteers work in people’s homes to manage the symptoms of our patient’s illnesses and look after their wider care needs. They are our own hospice staff, employed by St Elizabeth Hospice, and are not Macmillan nurses, as some people may think. Macmillan does not provide a community nursing service in our area as the hospice were asked to take over that responsibility from them some years ago. Supporting the ‘No Place like Home’ appeal will enable us to help more people access the care and support they need and deserve in the place that they want it.”
Anna Howe, the granddaughter of hospice patient Walter Frost, recalled how St Elizabeth Hospice helped her grandfather. “When Grandad was dying, he had one last wish. To be in the place he loved most – his home. Grandad faced the prospect of being in hospital at the end of his life. Everyone in the family knew this wasn’t his wish. We wanted to care for him at home and called the St Elizabeth Hospice Community Team, who quickly arranged for a hospital bed and medication to be delivered. Over the next two days, the hospice’s nurses visited to check Grandad’s medication, wash him and make him more comfortable. On the night of his death, the hospice arranged for a healthcare assistant to stay over to support us. Grandad slipped away peacefully in the early hours. We can’t thank St Elizabeth Hospice enough for the amazing care they gave my Grandad at home during his final days.”
To support to the ‘No Place Like Home‘ appeal visit