Over the past 20 years, the Hospice at Home service has cared for over 9,000 people and touched the lives of many families and loved ones. This month, the specialist service offering people the choice of spending their final days at home with their loved ones by their side, proudly celebrates its 20th anniversary.
‘From small yet generous beginnings, we have grown a team that is just one of the outstanding care services our Hospice provides,’ said Tes Smith, director of quality and care. ‘Come rain or shine, our nurses are always there for our patients with such commitment and professionalism.’ I’m in awe of all they achieve for people in our community.’
The pioneering project, which was made possible by the generous legacy of lifelong supporter Margaret Helen Markus, who left £400,000 to Saint Francis Hospice in her will, was initially funded and piloted for three years.
Since then, the Hospice at Home team has continued to grow and develop, providing hands on practical nursing, care and social support on a 24/7 basis and 365 days a year. In October 2016, they expanded their service area to cover Redbridge. This was following a long desire to be able to give the people of Redbridge the same level of service others had across their local area.
And to date, they have cared for over 9,000 people in their homes across all catchment areas of Havering, Brentwood, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and West Essex.
Julie White has been part of the team since the beginning, and she still remains as enthusiastic as she was two decades ago. ‘I still relish in learning the latest methods of care,’ said Julie, who has seen many changes over the years, from expanding the area we cover to the changes in uniforms.
Julie added: ‘But what has always remained the same is the dedicated care and support patients are given which enables families and friends, who may have spent years or months as their carers, to spend quality time with their loved ones.
‘The patient is our priority, but we look after the whole family. Many families have never experienced caring for someone who is dying, so they may struggle. It’s a privilege to support them during this very precious time.’
As they continue to care for those who need them in increasingly restricted conditions, their home patients need you more than ever before. You can help secure the status of the Hospice at Home through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by supporting their urgent appeal here.