ST. Luke’s Hospice shows what it takes to provide end of life care during COVID-19 this #HospiceCareWeek
St. Luke’s Hospice is one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK taking part in Hospice Care Week (5th -11th October), led by the national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK.
This year, as the world deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospice Care Week aims to recognise the contribution of Hospices across the UK at a time when its services are needed more than ever.
The theme ‘This is What It Takes’ highlights the variety of skills, people and resources which enable charities like St. Luke’s Hospice to continue providing free, specialist support to people affected by life-limiting illnesses.
Over the past six months, St. Luke’s Hospice has responded to the enormous challenges faced in light of the pandemic, re-shaping many of its services to enable it to meet the needs of people in the local community.
The Hospice’s Community Services saw an unprecedented growth in demand as more people needed the vital medical support of the Hospice in their own homes. In May, over 5,000 calls were made to its 24/7 OneResponse advice and support line, the highest number of monthly calls since the service began six years ago.
The eight-bedded In-Patient Unit has remained open throughout, allowing local people living with life limiting conditions to receive specialist palliative care and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The way many services are delivered has been transformed with the use of digital platforms, enabling consultations with patients to continue from their homes while keeping everyone safe. Face-to-face support services such as counselling for adults, children and young people and consultations with the Day Hospice are now provided over multiple platforms such as Zoom and video calls.
All the services provided by St. Luke’s Hospice are free of charge. Hospices receive some funding from the NHS but they rely heavily on the generous support of their local communities, including from funders, donors and supporters.
The pandemic has had a severe impact on both St. Luke’s Hospice retail and fundraising income.
There’s a range of ways to get involved this Hospice Care Week;
· Donate: Make a donation this week to help support the Hospice and in return, you’ll receive a special St. Luke’s Hospice pin badge to wear proudly this Hopsice Care Week and beyond. To donate and for more information, visit www.stlukeshospice.com/hcw
· Fundraise: Help raise essential funds for the charity by taking part in its first virtual Luke’s to Luke’s challenge. Complete 5 or 10 miles in one day – that could be a walk, run, swim cycle or even skip! Or you could organise a Virtual Big Blue Brew fundraiser, inviting friends, family and neighbours come together online over tea and cake. Visit www.stlukeshospice.com
Eileen Marshall, CEO of St. Luke’s Hospice, said: “This year has been very challenging. Whilst the future remains uncertain, I would like to assure you that we are 100% committed to providing essential care and support for our patients, their loved ones and carers.
“This Hospice Care Week we will be giving you an insight into what it takes to deliver our varied and comprehensive services We’ll be sharing stories throughout this week and encourage you to take a few moments to learn more about the Hospice, how we may be able to support your family and perhaps be inspired to support us if you can.”
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, said: “Hospice Care Week is an annual week of activity, celebration and action, to raise the profile of, and help to change people’s perceptions of, hospice care across the UK.
“There are more than 200 hospices across the UK that work to support individuals and families with end of life care. Roughly 83% of hospice care is delivered in the community, and that requires a network of staff that people do not necessarily see or know about. With the world dealing with the effects of COVID-19, expert end of life care is more important than ever – and hospices need our support.
“So whether you’re a hospice, a volunteer, an individual or a family, join us from 5 – 11 October 2020 and play your part in showing what it takes to give people and their families the care they need and deserve at the end of life.”
Each year hospices care for than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions and also provide bereavement support for more than 40,000 families.
For more information on the campaign and to find out about the ways you can get involved, visit: www.stlukeshospice.com