Hospice at Home service, run by the Macmillan Unit based at Christchurch Hospital, confirms funding to operate for another year
A CHRISTCHURCH-based service which provides free care for terminally ill patients at home has been given funding to operate for another year.
Hospice at Home, run by the Macmillan Unit based at Christchurch Hospital, aims to offer people more “choice and a voice” in their final days.
A small team of nurses and healthcare support workers care for patients in their homes, instead of them having to go into a hospice or hospital.
Last year they cared for around 200 across east Dorset and Ringwood.
Louise Pennington, lead palliative care nurse at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The team at the Macmillan Unit had wanted to set up a Hospice at Home service for some years, because we knew how much it would benefit patients and their families.
“The Covid pandemic forced a rapid review of our services and the way they responded to people’s needs.
“We set up Hospice at Home in direct response to this – to keep people in their own home in line with their expressed wishes for end-of-life care.”
Team leader Jacquie Upton previously set up a successful Hospice at Home service in Hampshire and recently nursed her own husband Iain through end-of-life care.
She says her own experience has made her “even more passionate” about being able to support other people to do the same in their homes.
She said: “Hospice at Home is the closest thing possible to putting the hospice into a patient’s home; a 24-hour service, which operates seven days a week, with planned visits, but also the opportunity to make SOS calls, absolutely anytime, for any reason, knowing a nurse will come if needed, particularly at nighttime.”
The majority of the funding for Hospice at Home comes from Macmillan Caring Locally, the charity which supports the Macmillan Unit.
The service received initial funding from sources including NHS Dorset, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity and breast cancer charity, Going for Bust.