care news Spring 2014
“Remember your loved one on the longest day of the year” See page 3
Isabel Hospice Local Care for Local People since 1982
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Why I Support the Hospice
Message from our Chief Executive – Nigel Furlong It seems no time since the last issue of Care News and Christmas has been and gone already. It has been a busy few months with heavy demands on our staff and volunteers providing care to patients and families, and on our fundraising and trading operations. Christmas is always an emotional time for all those we care for and I pay tribute to all those providing high quality services in patients’ homes, at our day services and at the In-Patient Unit. You will read in this publication of examples of this remarkable care, which goes on day in day out; real testimonies to the commitment and dedication that the multi-disciplinary Hospice teams bring to making a real difference to people’s lives. As you know, we get only limited funding from the NHS to sustain this outstanding care, so rely on you, our much valued supporters, to continue to contribute either directly through events, donations and the
Did you know that it’s not Macmillan nurses that visit end-of-life patients in your town? It’s Isabel Hospice nurses!
Justine Perry (43) from Cariad Marketing in Hertford, is a local businesswoman who has Isabel Hospice close to her heart after the care we gave to her husband Steve, who died at our In-Patient Unit on 4th January 2013.
lottery or indirectly through donating or buying goods through our High Street and on-line stores. As our strategy, which I outlined in the September issue, rolls out we are investing in our income generation activities and you will see tangible evidence of this in the development of our new website, eBay (click on the symbol on the website!) and new shops in Sawbridgeworth and Hatfield.
“We lost Steve at 47 after being diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer aged 45 – which is no age at all; it’s tragic and we miss him desperately. We were referred to the Hospice and found their doctors and nurses such a breath of fresh air. They told us difficult news, they didn’t sugar coat, but their gentle compassion made it more palatable. We were under the impression that the Hospice would be a sad and gloomy place, but that misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s well designed and bright with fully equipped rooms.
As the New Year progresses there will be more to report on, including developments at the Howlands, Welwyn Garden City site, but in the meantime may I take the opportunity to thank you again for your continuing support and wish you a happy and fulfilling 2014.
Every person we saw there had a smile for us, and I think the Hospice runs on tea, because the cups that were made for us were endless, and always gratefully received.
Nigel Furlong Chief Executive
Steve saw his role within our family as the provider. He wanted to be there for our son and two daughters and didn’t want to be admitted as an In-Patient at the Hospice at first. However, by mid-December and following a bout of pneumonia, Steve’s condition had worsened and we both knew it was the best place for him. Whilst there he showed signs of improvement, which was down to the specialist care and symptom control that the In-Patient Unit staff were able to provide. At that time we were talking about treatment plans which we would pick up in the New Year. Steve desperately wanted to be home for Christmas and the Hospice doctors and staff arranged it all. They were so practical
It is often assumed that the nurses visiting patients at home in their final months and weeks are the well-known cancer ‘Mac’ nurses from Macmillan Cancer Support. In fact, there have been no Macmillan nurses fulfilling this community role in our area for many years and this care is only given by Isabel Hospice Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Please help us spread the word. Macmillan nurses care for patients in local hospitals but they do not provide end-of-life care to patients in eastern Hertfordshire at home, that is Isabel Hospice nursing staff. If you‘d like to find out more about our Clinical Nurse Specialists working in your town, go to www.isabelhospice.org.uk
and helpful, but the reality of realising that dream for him just didn’t work out. The house was noisy, with children, the dog, general family life and the level of care that he needed was so high I was struggling. He had a fall whilst he was at home and as a 6ft 4” man, getting him up was not something I could do. It was a terrible time and we realised he needed to go back to the In-Patient Unit. We also made the heart-breaking decision to start preparing the children for what was to come. The Hospice’s children’s bereavement team, who had already been supporting us, started to work with the kids and Steve returned to the Hospice. The relief was immense and our quality of life as a family improved in those few short days. I was able to take Steve out for a walk and home for lunch, and on another day took Steve for a pub lunch with all his extended family around him. The staff were amazing and they made what was such an awful time a bit more bearable. A testament to how thoughtful they were, was on our wedding anniversary, which is New Years Eve and my birthday which is 1st January. A friend of Steve’s helped him order me flowers and when they were delivered a few days early the nursing staff put them in cold storage for him. Steve was sleeping a lot at the time and they helped him give them to me, which is a really special memory. It doesn’t matter how busy they are, they always find time to go that extra mile. They always had time for me, as well as Steve and I can’t ever thank them enough for this. It never occurred to me or Steve that we would ever need charitable help but my message to others would be, you never know when you are going to need it. I want to raise as much money as I can for Isabel Hospice so others who are, in the same situation as me, will receive the same levels of fantastic specialist care.”
Steve desperately wanted to be home for Christmas and the Hospice doctors and staff arranged it all
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, when you have a terminally ill member of your family, you don’t really pay too much attention as to where the nurse has come from, be it Isabel Hospice or Macmillan. You are only interested in making sure your family member gets the best care, and is as comfortable and as pain free as possible. However, this misunderstanding at such an emotional time can lead to donations being made to Macmillan rather than Isabel Hospice. At a time when the Hospice is under pressure to provide services to more and more local people the loss of income to a national charity is hitting us hard.
By Justine Perry
Garden of Memories
Remember your loved ones this summer at our new remembrance ceremony. Plant a wooden sunflower in the garden of remembrance and join together with others who have lost a loved one on 21st June. You can find out more, plus make your dedication on-line at www.isabelhospice.org.uk 3
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Stockwell Lodge Stockwell Lodge in Cheshunt is one of the 3 day services the Hospice runs on a weekly basis for patients and their carers. It is a nurse-led clinic, but it couldn’t function without the time and energy supplied by a dedicated band of volunteers. Alan Whymark who has been volunteering for 8 years, mainly as a driver but now at our day service, said “I like the atmosphere here, you meet lots of new people.” Tina Clayton added “ I started as a driver but now come here and help patients with the arts and crafts they do. Initially I thought the training may be daunting, but it’s not and it means you can really help patients but also the carers who get a bit of a break when their husband or wife is here with us.” Brian Cummins said “I am normally a volunteer at the In-Patient Unit and have been so for 13 years. I am here to help fill in for a few sessions and it’s nice to do something different. People sometimes think it’s a sad place but it’s not. We have a laugh and a joke and that eases the tension for everyone.”
Hospice at Home
The Hospice enabled us to stay together until the end – he died in my arms Hazel Rorke said “It was such a frightening time for both of us when Ernie was diagnosed with a rare terminal condition called Corticobasal degeneration (CBD)*. He started falling over and could not control his balance. There was no pain, but there is no cure and so we had to give up the crash repair business we owned as it became too dangerous for him to be around the vehicles in case he fell. As soon as Isabel Hospice became involved in his care we both relaxed. We were married for 54 years and I just wanted to look after him until the end. We got so much support from the Hospice and we felt much more confident dealing with his illness. Community Clinical Nurse Specialist Jackie Watts visited and helped in so many ways. You couldn’t get more professional or caring people. The Hospice’s respite service, where Ernie was admitted to the In-Patient Unit for a few days, enabled me to get a small break, which as every carer will know is a lifeline. Ernie died in my arms at home which is what he would have wished for. After such a long marriage the pain of being without him still catches me unawares. I was recently able to make a donation to the Hospice and I know this is something he would have wanted me to do.”
Donations such as Hazel’s are vital to the continuing of our free end-of-life care, and could pay for many more patients to spend their last days and hours in the arms of their loved ones. • £150 is the average cost per home visit • Last year we supported 287 patients to die at home as was their wish • £445 is the cost to provide support for a bereaved family for a year • 12% of our patients have a non-cancer diagnosis *a rare condition where brain cells become damaged over time and certain sections of the brain start to shrink
Patient Frank O’Rorke enjoys the company of Brian, Tina and Alan at Stockwell Lodge.
Sponsored Cycle Ride 25km, 50km and 100km routes available
Help for South African Hospice Isabel Hospice has been able to donate syringe drivers (small pieces of equipment that deliver measured amounts of medicine such as morphine) to a Hospital in South Africa. Due to changing NHS regulations the syringe drivers are no longer approved for UK use, but are in perfectly good working order. Organised by Hatfield Rotary Club the syringe drivers have gone to the Groote Schuur Hospital who are trying to develop an embryo hospice movement for the people of South Africa. So far over 100 have been sent out from all different sources, including 29 from Isabel Hospice.
Mike Freeman, a former Isabel Hospice Chairman and of Hatfield Rotary said “I cannot overstate how gratefully they are being received, as there is practically nothing in the way of palliative care and support for the poor communities in South Africa. As the syringe drivers are now redundant if we hadn’t found this new home for them they would have been no use to anyone. It seems to me to be a real win-win situation.”
Sign up today for an early bird discount entry price Before Monday 3rd March £12 adult £5 child (under 14s)
Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club, Hadham Rd, CM23 2QE 9:00am, 9:15am & 9:30am start
Register from 4th March – 21st May at 5pm £15 adult £5 child (under 14s)
Sunday 25th May After 22nd May it is on the day registration fee of £20 adult £5 child (under 14s)
Sign up on-line today at www.isabelhospice.org.uk
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