Blythe House and Helen’s Trust say the volume of care they have delivered has doubled over the last year, as more people with non-Covid illnesses wanted to stay away from hospitals. 97.5 per cent of people in the charity’s care who wanted to die at home were enabled to do so.
Hospice at home manager Jude Webster said: “I am dealing first hand with a higher demand for patients wanting to be discharged from hospital, so they can die at home and have their loved ones around them.”
Internal evaluations over the past 12 months found that 70 per cent of patients said they would have had to frequently call their GP without the charity’s support, and 65 per cent said they would have been forced to request hospital admission. 91 per cent felt their anxiety levels had been reduced.
Among those patients were Lillian Clark, who died from cancer in February, and her husband John, who is receiving ongoing care for end stage heart failure.
Daughter Sandra Mather is a district nurse who regularly refers her own patients to Blythe House’s 24/7 Hospice at Home service.
She said: “I am a big believer in having a good death, in my role as a nurse. Lillian had what I would call a ‘perfect death.’ She looked beautiful. She wasn’t agitated or in pain. It was the best it could have been.
“After Lillian died, Blythe House and Helen’s Trust started to provide respite night-time care for dad. It helps me to have much-needed time out, go home, have a change of scenery and a full night’s sleep. We also have support from a hospice volunteer, Charlie. He visits once a week to chat to dad or read to him.
“The continuity of care is just fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for the team; they all go that extra mile and always go beyond what is expected.”
To help families like Sandra’s, the charity must raise £1.5million every year. To make a donation, go to blythehousehospice.org.uk/donate.
If you or someone you care about could benefit from the hospice at home service, call 01298 875080.