Hospice Care Week 2020 (5-11 October)

This is what it takes…

This week, Campden Home Nursing is taking part in Hospice UK’s Hospice Care Week, which is a chance to recognise what it takes to give people and their families the care they need and deserve at the end of life.

Across the UK, more than 200 Hospices and Hospice at Home Charities provide help, support and care to over 200,000 patients, carers and families every year. We are proud to be a part of this amazing team.

What it takes, nationally

Hospice care is on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis: With COVID-19, expert end of life care is more important than ever. Thousands are working under enormous pressure to keep frontline hospice staff, patients and their families safe.

On a national level, it takes 40,000 dedicated staff, 125,000 volunteers, 2,500 shop windows, 1.1 million home visits per year, 29,000 facemasks used each day, £1.4 billion per year and much more to provide end of life care for all.

What it takes, locally

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic we have continued to operate and our nurses have been working harder than ever. This year, we have nursed 124 patients – an increase of 20% compared with 2019 and provided 358 night sits for patients at the end of their lives. This is an increase of 17%. Our free counselling service has been extremely busy as our counsellors continue to offer Skype and telephone appointments.

Our office and shop staff continue to provide the best service possible under difficult circumstances. We are also lucky to be supported by a loyal team of volunteers.

Other keys facts about hospice care

It’s never been more important for us to shout about what it takes for UK hospice care, so here are some more important facts.

• Hospice care is for everyone: Whoever they are, wherever they are and whatever their age. Hospice care means working with and in local communities to support individuals and families with end of life care. From end of life care at home, to hospices supporting the homeless, to bereavement support for siblings at a children’s hospice, hospice care is for everyone.

• Hospices are not just buildings: Hospice care means skilled, compassionate care for anyone at the end of their life. Around 83% of hospice care is delivered in the community – in people’s homes, outpatient services or hospice day care – and that requires a network of staff you don’t necessarily know about. In June, during the COVID-19 outbreak, hospices in England supported around 57,000 people in the community every day.

And there’s more…

• Everyone’s needs are unique: Hospice care is provided by teams of expert staff and volunteers who place equal emphasis on someone’s clinical, physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. We understand that everyone’s end of life needs will be different. It takes multiple different professions to make up the hospice teams delivering support to those who need it.

• Hospice care is critical: Hospices work with and support the NHS and other care providers, like care homes, but their vital role is often overlooked. Without hospice care, hospitals and care homes in the UK would be stretched to breaking point caring for 200,000 more people at the end of their lives. And it doesn’t stop there. Hospice care is for the living as well as the dying, helping over 40,000 families with bereavement support. 80% of people whose loved ones had received hospice care rated the care as outstanding, excellent or good.

• Hospice care is free but not cheap: Hospice care is free for those who need it, whoever they are and whatever their situation. But it comes at a cost. Each year, hospice care needs £1.4 billion – that’s almost £3 million every single day – and on average 70% of this is paid for by local fundraising. Hospice UK estimates that since the COVID crisis began in March, collectively hospices have lost in the region of £70 million in fundraised income. The COVID crisis is a stark reminder that a long-term, sustainable financial model is needed to give everyone the end of life care they need.

Can you help?

Two of our nurses in PPE during Hospice Care Week 2020Please help us by liking and sharing our social media posts this week as a way to celebrate the hard work, achievements and commitment of our hospice sector, sharing stories of what it takes to provide palliative and end of life care, and raising vital funds to make sure hospices and hospice at home services can continue their critical work.

Now, more than ever, it is vital that our service remains FREE of charge for patients and their families who need our care and support at the end of their lives. If you can help us with either a one-off donation or on a monthly basis we would be so grateful. Please donate here.