Hospice shares end of life care during Hospice Care Week

  • 9 October 2019

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2 female nurses holding a thank you sign

62 nurses, 19 community fundraisers , 600 volunteers, 5 charity shops, 54 sponsored half-marathons, 150 events hosted in the Hospice’s Education and Conference Centre and 13,395 hot drinks served in its Bistro – this is just some of what it takes for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity to provide palliative care for people across Cambridgeshire and their loved ones.

Arthur Rank Hospice is one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK taking part in Hospice Care Week (7-13 October), led by the national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK.

This year the theme ‘This is What It Takes’ will be highlighting that, while hospice care is provided free for people with life-limiting conditions and their families, it is not cheap and takes a lot of skilled people and other resources.

Hospice care is about much more than inpatient medical care, as hospices provide a wide range of services including day therapy sessions, wellbeing therapies such as massage and reflexology, bereavement counselling, out-patient clinics for support with lymphoedema and hospice care at home.

Hospices depend on the contribution of many other people such as: cleaners, cooks, therapists, shop staff, gardeners, as well as countless dedicated volunteers.

Hospices receive some funding from the NHS but on average they have to raise more than half of their income themselves and rely heavily on the generous support of their local communities, including companies, donors and hospice fundraising supporters.This year, many charitable hospices are facing considerable financial challenges, so the support they receive from the public is more important than ever before.

During Hospice Care Week, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity will be showing the community what it needs to provide its services, with a public display in its Bistro (complete with themed cake), a yellow day on Friday the 11 October and by sharing statistics on social media revealing exactly what it takes to provide their specialist care and support, using the hashtag #ThisIsWhatItTakesSharon Allen, CEO at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, comments:

“Many people are surprised when they find out that the NHS does not fully fund hospice care. I think people will also be surprised to learn, for example, that 6,109 telephone conversations took place between our Specialist Palliative Care Home Team and patients or their representatives last year, or that forty study days took place, sharing our specialist skills with 506 students.

“Hospice Care Week is giving us an excellent platform to talk about these diverse and essential contributions in very solid terms.  We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing conversations start – and hopefully continue – about everything that is involved in delivering our services and support across the county. I would be delighted to hear from anyone in our community who wants to find out more or has an idea to share.” 

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK, said:

“Hospices provide incredible care and improve the lives of so many people with life-limiting conditions and their loved ones. During Hospice Care Week, we’d like to give a big shout out to everyone involved in making this happen for over 200,000 families every single year and show just what it takes.  

“We want to give people a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of the sheer diversity of people and resources that goes into the compassionate care provided to people at the end of their lives and why hospices are truly at the heart of their communities.“We hope that in Hospice Care Week people will be inspired to support their local hospice in different ways; whether by donating, volunteering or helping to spread the word about hospice care on social media.

“This year is proving to be really tough for the hospice sector on several fronts, whether related to fundraising or recruitment challenges, so it has never been more important for people to support their local hospice.”

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.

Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s shops in Cambridge (Mill Road, Regent Street and Burleigh Street), Great Shelford (Woollards Lane) and Cottenham (High Street) will also be joining in the week’s activities. They have been challenged to raise awareness with a yellow Hospice Care Week themed window-dressing competition. They are among 2,500 shops across the UK, helping raise vital funds for hospice care.Hospice supporters are encouraged to join the conversation about Hospice Care Week by sharing what they think it takes to deliver the Hospice’s specialist care, by posting on their social media accounts or by filling out a postcard and adding it to the displays in the shops, at the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre (Wisbech) or in the Hospice’s Bistro in Shelford Bottom (Cambridge).