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Arthur Rank Hospice Charity is one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK, that will be taking part in Hospice Care Week next week, led by the national hospice and end of life care charity Hospice UK, highlighting what it takes to provide care to those who need it most.
The week will be taking place between Monday 5- Sunday 11 October 2020, and gives us a moment to pause and recognise what it takes to provide good quality end of life care.
The national picture is a striking one: 40,000 dedicated staff, 125,000 volunteers, 2,500 shop windows, 1.1 million home visits per year, 29,000 facemasks each day, £1.4 billion.. and that’s just part of the picture.
It also takes a special team of supporters to help us ‘make every moment count’ for our patients and their families across Cambridgeshire. The COVID-19 global pandemic, has proved this more than ever and our community have continued to rally around ever since the lock-down in March. They have participated in our weekly Virtual Quizzes and Summer Fete, signed up to our Your Hospice Lottery, taken part in our 2.6 Challenge, Cambridge Half Marathon, Star Shine Walk, Bridge The Gap, played our Summer Raffle, donated to our appeals and are, as we speak, preparing to dig out their sparkly outfits for our Festive 5k.
We are so grateful for your support, which has allowed us to continue to provide essential front-line care to patients and their families, at our Inpatient Unit at Shelford Bottom, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and in their own homes across Cambridgeshire.
Hospice UK estimates that since the COVID-19 crisis began in March 2020, collectively hospices have lost in the region of £70 million in fundraised income. Many hospices in England rely on public donations for funding, through charity shops and fundraisers. Much of this activity has not been possible during the pandemic.
Despite this short-fall, our front-line care has been needed more than ever and our clinical colleagues have continued to deliver care and support, despite the challenges:
- The Hospice at Home team continues to respond to a growth in demand, which we never could have predicted: in just one month alone referrals into this service increased by 61%. The ‘Help Us Be There’ appeal which was launched in 2019 has gone someway to provide this vital care. Director of Clinical Services, Sara Robins, adds: “I recently spoke to a family who we provided Hospice at Home night care to. They said that they would have gone into crisis had we not have been there to help them cope at night and we know there are others who feel the same”
- Our Day Therapy teams both in Cambridge and Wisbech and our Lympheodema team have up-skilled and adapted to reach patients virtually
- Our new Caring Communities Volunteers continue to provide a life-line to many isolated and vulnerable patients
An (often overlooked but hugely important) step in delivering our care, is the one that patients and their families have to take, in order to receive the Hospice’s care and support. So, to mark Hospice Care Week this year, we have turned the #ThisIsWhatItTakes theme upside down, and asked our colleagues ‘what it takes’ for our patients to benefit from our care.
During Hospice Care week we shared a video series, on our website and social media platforms. You can see the individual videos on this news page of our website or if you look through our previous posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or watch the combined version below. If you’d like to re-share these with your families, friends and networks, we would be very grateful!
Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive of Hospice UK, concludes:
“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.”
For more information about Hospice Care Week, visit the Hospice UK website