Staff and patients at St Giles Hospice in Whittington, near Tamworth, are celebrating news of a £39,000 grant which will expand their vital Hospice at Home scheme.
The Fisherwick Road hospice is launching a new 12-month pilot scheme to give patients improved access to care in their own homes – thanks to a £39,000 grant from a private charitable foundation.
The money was awarded to St Giles by the Help the Hospices charity, which distributes funding from the St James's Place Foundation to enable hospices to develop imaginative new projects to improve patient care.
It will be used to expand St Giles Hospice's much-valued Hospice at Home service, which sees nurses and healthcare assistants provide specialist care in the community for local people living with cancer and other serious illnesses.
Previously, St Giles did not have enough funding to support Hospice at Home visits during the evening. Following the award of the grant, however, nurses will now be available to attend patients' homes between 4.30pm and 10.30pm, seven days a week for the next 12 months – complementing the current availability of Hospice at Home staff during working hours and through the night.
Louise Savage, Hospice at Home Manager for St Giles Hospice, says: "We're absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this grant because it means we can now bridge the gap between our existing daytime and overnight services, providing complete continuity of care and support for our patients and their families.
"This has been on our wish-list for quite some time after we completed a short and successful pilot scheme last year, but couldn't continue it due to lack of funding.
"This underlines just how much we depend on charitable support to provide our care across the community – both from generous local people and through grants such as this – and we would like to thank Help the Hospices and the St James's Place Foundation for making it possible to extend and enhance our Hospice at Home service."
Hospice at Home has been serving the local community since 2002, when a Tamworth Herald campaign helped raise money for the service.
It works alongside GPs and district nurses to provide practical nursing care for patients, allowing them to remain within the familiar and reassuring surroundings of home while providing much-valued respite for their carers and families – at no cost whatsoever to those who benefit from the service.
The St James's Place Foundation Grant means nurses will be available to continue care after 5pm, when the current daytime service ends, ensuring a smooth handover for the overnight service, which begins at 10pm.
They will also offer support to healthcare assistants staffing the overnight service and work with district nurses to facilitate late discharges from hospital, enabling more patients to spend their final days and hours at home, if this is their wish.