The hospice is currently undergoing a major refurbishment including a more comfortable reception area and a clinic dedicated to rehabilitation exercise programmes.
As part of Blythe House’s rebrand of its reception to Community Hub they say the new physio room will make a ‘massive difference’ to patients’ quality of life.
Speaking about the dedicated room CEO Janet Dunphy said: “Somebody maybe dying of a disease but if you can access a physio who can help you get to the kitchen that makes a massive difference.”
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Janet told how the Community Hub - designed to help ‘build back better’ following the Covid-19 pandemic - had come about following a review of the hospice’s services.
It aims to help more people than ever - with extended holistic, palliative and end-of-life care.
She said: “This is somewhere the community can go for support - a place to gravitate to when they need help with life-limiting illnesses.
“We want to make sure people have the right amount of support - whether that’s from our physio, occupational therapist or family support worker.
“It’s about allowing people to remain in their own homes but still have access to our services.”
However the new relaunch also aims to remind people that Blythe House looks after people with all illnesses - not just cancer.
Janet said: “When people think of hospices they think about cancer - not about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart failure - so we’re making the public aware we’re not cancer specific.”
CEO Janet told how as part of a review into its services the charity - which is supporting 200 people through its day care service and 50 people dying at home - now had to start ‘doing things differently’.
She said: “All hospices start because of the community and volunteers so we need to make sure we’re fit for purpose.
“After the pandemic need will be greater but with less money in the NHS so we’ve looked at what we’ve got to make sure we can stay solvent.”
Giving examples of more efficient ways of working Janet told how services which used to operate on a drop-in basis would now be booking-only.
She said: “We used to have a five-day drop-in - but it’s expensive to have staff on standby for a full five days waiting for people to drop in.
“It’s much more efficient to have bookable appointments.
“We’re structuring this as a way to give people tools they can use to become the best that they can be.
“We aim to provide repeating programmes of care which mean at the end they’ve learned so much they can stand on their own two feet with improved quality of life.”
During lockdown Blythe House has offered many of its outpatient services via Zoom video conferencing.
They hope to launch the Community Hub in October however they say this is dependent on Government guidance over Covid-19.