Hospice Care Week is a national campaign that aims to raise awareness of hospice care across the UK. It also gives you the chance to get involved with your local hospice.
Together with hospices across the country, St Barnabas House in Worthing will be educating people about the care services it provides and addressing some of the misconceptions and fears that many people have about hospice care.
St Barnabas House does extraordinary work in the heart of the local community by providing end of life and palliative care both at the hospice and in the comfort of patients’ own homes across the Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield areas.
Now is your chance to show your support by saying ‘I heart my hospice’!
You can get involved in Hospice Care Week by doing some volunteering, fundraising, participating an event, visiting a St Barnabas House charity shop or even by leaving the hospice a gift in your Will.
It costs £6.5 million a year for St Barnabas House to provide all of its care services, and only a small fraction of that cost is covered by statutory funding.
You could make a donation, no matter how big or small, to help the hospice continue providing vital care for your local community.
Find out more about how you can heart your hospice during Hospice Care Week at www.stbh.org.uk/heartmyhospice or call St Barnabas House on 01903 706300.
Heart my hospice
The theme for this year’s Hospice Care Week is ‘Heart my hospice’ and St Barnabas House is encouraging as many people to get involved in the conversation.
You can share why you heart your local hospice on social media by tagging them on social media and using the hashtag #HeartMyHospice to show your support.
Hospice Outreach Project
Throughout the month of October the St Barnabas House Hospice Outreach Project will be visiting locations across the Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield areas.
The Hospice Outreach Project team will be encouraging members of the public to get involved in the ‘Heart my hospice’ theme by writing why they heart St Barnabas House on an ‘I heart my hospice because…’ chalkboard.
The friendly Hospice Outreach Project team will also be available to provide advice to those who need it about death, dying and bereavement, including emotional, spiritual and psychological support.
The full list of locations the Hospice Outreach Project will be visiting during October can be found at www.stbh.org.uk/outreach.
Caring for patients with heart failure
Did you know, St Barnabas House now provides an Advanced Heart Failure Service for patients who have been diagnosed with Advanced Heart Failure?
Such has been the impact of the service since it was first introduced by the hospice in 2016 that Michaela Wheatley, the Advanced Heart Failure Nurse Specialist, was recently nominated for a British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Hero’ award.
Michaela was very honoured to be nominated for the award by the family of one of the patients she looked after.
One Friday 5 October she attended the British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Awards in the restaurant based under Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.
You can find more information about the Advanced Heart Failure Service provided by St Barnabas House at www.stbh.org.uk/heartservice
What’s it like to be on the receiving end of hospice care?
Back in the early months of 2013, Paul Blanchard was happily enjoying his retirement, living in Lancing with his wife Susan. A family man, he had two sons and a daughter.
Having worked for the army, Merchant Navy and travelled around the world delivering yachts and motor cruisers, much of Paul’s time was spent volunteering for the National Coastwatch in Shoreham where he was a senior watchkeeper and member of the committee.
In March 2013, Paul started suffering with a cough. Following a series of visits to his GP and Worthing Hospital, he was diagnosed as having idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Over the following years, Paul regularly visited the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, where he was recommended palliative care. In March 2018 he was referred to St Barnabas House and started attending the Day Hospice.
Paul has spoken very openly about the care he has been able to access since his referral to the hospice Respiratory Service, and the benefits it has had for him and his family…
I remember coming to St Barnabas House for the first time back in March and thinking, ‘It’s a hospice; you come here to die’. I came here with great apprehension at first, but the instant I arrived all my fears were allayed.
Penny Kirton, one of the nurses, saw me and showed me around. Straight away, wherever I went, I felt good because of the way people were towards me. Nobody was scowling or impatient or anything like that. I found that quite relaxing and by the time I’d gone round to all the different departments and seen everything I felt completely at ease. My opinion became more relaxed immediately.
I started attending the Day Hospice on a Friday. Coming to the Day Hospice I can get away into another world. It’s so peaceful. I meet people of a similar age. I can do puzzles or I can go and do art and I like to come and talk to people and listen to what they have to say.
When I come to the Day Hospice I relax completely. I enjoy my time with the family and the grandchildren, but sometimes it’s a bit busy to say the least with all the little children, who I adore. I also think it takes some of the stress from my wife, Susan, because she’s my carer, although she says she’s not. It gives her a bit of time away and it gives me time away in another world.
I do physiotherapy with Tracey (Fuller), which was one-to-one but now I’m doing it in a group. Coming to the physiotherapy sessions at St Barnabas House and doing the exercises is a totally different pace to when I used to go to the gym. It’s a lot less harsh physically, but you can feel it hits the right points. I can feel the benefit on my lungs. It helps with getting your posture and breathing right.
I go to the hospice chapel service on a Friday. I’m not completely religious but I do feel comfort being in with the people in there. You feel quite reassured being there.
I’m very surprised what St Barnabas House can do, even for my IPF. Having somebody who is a specialist in the field is very helpful.
The first time I saw Dr Zoe Palmer (Medical Consultant) I felt she was very good because I got a good length of time with her. I’ve never been into a place where I’ve seen a doctor and they’ve had the time to talk to you.
She rationalised my drugs and whittled it down which was a big help. One of the symptoms of my IPF is bad coughing. You can’t just lay down. You turn over and then you cough again and in the end you’ve just got to get out of bed and sit up. Being able to contact a doctor who is a specialist is so much help. She’s such a pleasant person as well.
On the whole I would describe the hospice as excellent, everything about it. I couldn’t put it any better than that. I’ve felt comfortable coming here, never felt uncomfortable with anybody at all. They are polite, attentive and out you at ease straight away. I couldn’t praise it more.