Hospice in the Weald based at Pembury is proposing to open a string of Cottage Hospices to give terminally ill patients access to expert specialist care within their own local community.
Rob Woolley, Chief Executive of the hospice said:
We are not trying to replace or duplicate the work of our existing hospice at Pembury. That will always be there for people who need high-intensity medical care and nothing will change. But we want to build on the work of our Hospice in the Home service which currently looks after 500 patients in their own homes.
Cottage Hospices will have more engagement with their local community. We have chosen East Sussex for our first site because 20% of our patients come from that area, and we want to create a facility which they will find easier to access. We cover 400 square miles, from Halstead in the north down to Heathfield and from Edenbridge to Cranbrook. If we open another Hospice, then we can be far more accessible to the patients who live in the south of our catchment area.
The new Cottage Hospice is intended as a community hub, with drop-in daycare facilities for patients as well as ground-breaking training courses to teach volunteers, families and carers the skills to look after patients themselves. It will provide residential suites for terminally ill patients where relatives or carers will have the chance to stay with their loved ones round the clock and care for them through their final days with the help of nursing staff.
Mr Woolley added
Ideally, in the long run we would like to see several Cottage Hospices dotted around our patch. We know there is a need, because surveys show that one in three people over 75 in the South-East would prefer to die in a hospice but only 3% can. Hospices can try to ensure that people can die where they choose and in a way that has compassionate, individualised, holistic and supportive palliative care at its core 24/7, whereas three out of four hospitals provide palliative care only during office hours.
The new Cottage Hospice will provide residential suites for terminally ill patients where relatives or carers will have the chance to stay with their loved ones round the clock and care for them through their final days with the help of nursing staff.
Daytime support for local residents with terminal illnesses will include a wide range of feelgood, esteem-raising personal services such as luncheon clubs, pampering sessions, creative workshops and complementary therapy as well as specialist counselling.
A key feature of the Cottage Hospice scheme will be the training unit where hospice staff will prepare families and carers for the physical and emotional challenges as well as teaching them a range of skills to enable them to play an active role at the bedside of the patient, whether the person is admitted to the Cottage Hospice or chooses to die at home.
Mr Woolley said:
We are passionate about making the remaining time for patients, families and carers as fulfilled and comfortable as it can be. We believe Cottage Hospices, based at the heart of their local community, are the big way forward.
Hospice in the Weald has a charity shop on Croft Road in Crowborough as well as a furniture shop at Moyses Barn on the A267 between Mayfield and Five Ashes. Local volunteers hold regular coffee mornings at All Saints Church to raise money for the hospice. The next event is on the 14th November from 10am until 1pm.
If you would like to make a donation towards the appeal you can do so here: www.hospiceintheweald.org.uk/fundraise/make-donation.
Light Up a Light Service
On Saturday 5th December starting at 5.30pm there is a Light up a Life Service at All Saints Church in Crowborough. Light up a Life is a warm and welcoming celebration to remember those that are no longer with us.