Hospice @Home Archives - East Cheshire Hospice

New Hospice@Home car

Nurses are now driving round in a second car to further help Hospice @Home patients.

The Ford Kuga was bought thanks to the generosity of the What Women Want fundraisers who also purchased the first vehicle for the service.

Hospice @Home has been an outstanding success since its launch in 2017, with the two cars enabling staff to get out and about more easily.

The latest car – also painted in the light blue Hospice colour -is a hybrid in line with the Hospice’s environmental initiative.

Both cars were supplied at discounted rates by Ford dealers Sidney Jackson and Son, long-standing supporters of the Hospice.

Healthcare assistants Rachel Barker (left) and Elaine Taylor with the new Hospice @Home car.

The charity’s green push includes a new appeal to buy solar panels. It is also reducing its carbon footprint in other ways via its garden and kitchen produce.

The five WWW girls raised £27,000 from a ball at Cranage Hall in November, a total generously match-funded by one of their close friends and benefactors.

Those donations funded the latest car and decoration of a lounge for patients and families.

Hospice @Home manager Tess Cleaver:  “We can’t thank the What Women Want group enough for yet another amazing donation.

“With two cars, both kindly funded by the group, we can reach more patients more easily and that makes a huge difference to us.

“We cover such a wide geographical area in East Cheshire and moving between homes can be quite complex, but this extra car simplifies our task. We’re extremely grateful.”

Newest member of Hospice @Home team

Senior nurse Sue Milligan is the latest addition to the specialist East Cheshire Hospice team which provides patients with palliative care in the comfort of their own home.

Sue – known as Millie – has joined the charity’s Hospice @Home team as a sister after spending her entire career in health care.

That vast medical experience further strengthens a Hospice service widely acclaimed for its vital role within the Macclesfield community and beyond.

Sue previously worked for NHS Cheshire Commissioning Group as an individual commissioning nurse.

She assessed patients in community settings and advised on whether they met the criteria for continuing health care, a role which brought her into contact with the Hospice.

Sue Milligan who is part of the Hospice @Home team at East Cheshire Hospice.

Sue said: “The contact increased over the years and I was lucky enough to be involved in discussions to expand the Hospice @Home service. This was the catalyst to finally make the leap to become part of the team.

“I’m enjoying being part of the development and expansion of the service and the team have made me most welcome, just as they did  when on the end of a phone. I hope to make a small but positive difference here.”

Sue’s partner Iggy worked at Macclesfield District General Hospital as paediatric consultant for 16 years before retiring a couple of years ago.

The couple, who have three children, moved to Macclesfield 18 years ago when Sue switched from paediatrics to become a district nurse.

She later joined the hospital as part of the integrated discharge team, assisting patients to either access rehab units, return home, or stay in an appropriate community setting.

The Hospice @Home service has had a huge impact since it was launched in October, 2017, initially covering ‘out-of-hours’ and weekends before expanding early last year to cover 24 hours a day.

Essentially, it extends the end-of-life care provided in the Hospice inpatient unit into people’s own homes, thereby reducing unwanted hospital admissions.

The service provides hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of-life care and care after death.

Nurses and co-ordinators work closely with other health care agencies, including GPs, district nurses, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

That collaboration is seen as key to the success of Hospice @Home which has been well received by patients, their families and carers.

* For more details on Hospice @Home visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk.

Hospice @Home during lockdown

Caring for patients with life-limiting illnesses in their own homes has been ‘challenging and emotional’ during Covid-19, according to a senior nurse at East Cheshire Hospice.

Tess Cleaver is manager of the charity’s Hospice @Home team which has made home visits during the pandemic.

While the country was on lockdown, her dedicated team were on the front-line of health care visiting patients as usual.

Gloves, aprons, water-resistant face masks and visors have been worn at all times by the 12 specialist nurses and highly-trained healthcare assistants.

Following rapidly changing guidance on PPE presented a challenge in itself.

The Hospice @Home team did have to suspend its services for two weeks early in May so further precautions could be put in place.

Tess said: “It’s been challenging and closing the service temporarily was difficult. We didn’t take the decision lightly, but it was made by the senior team to ensure we were operating in the safest possible way.

“That was our guiding factor and without that adjustment we’d have struggled to function as normal.

“We had great support from other health care providers and family members were amazing. They understood that we were doing everything to make sure we kept their loved ones safe.”

From left, East Cheshire Hospice @Home manager Tess Cleaver and healthcare assistants Kim Lamb and Karen Buckley.

 

Hospice @Home now covers 24 hours a day – it had operated overnight and at weekends until April.  The extension was planned before coronavirus.

Tess added: “We’ve had to make a lot of changes and be adaptable and the response from Hospice staff has been fantastic. Everyone has pulled together.

“Staff have been flexible, helping out in other Hospice roles when we shut down, and I can’t thank them enough.

“When the virus started some patients were scared. They wanted us to get in touch, but didn’t want staff visiting to reduce footfall in their homes.

“Then when they saw us and district nurses wearing the PPE that was re-assuring.

“Staff might finish visiting at 8 pm during the Clap for Carers and that was touching. It was lovely for the clinical staff on the inpatient ward to receive a visit from Macclesfield police one Thursday.

“One staff member had to move away from a relative who was in the high risk group. It’s been emotional at times and we’ve all had to make difficult decisions.”

Some staff tested positive for coronavirus and guidelines were followed immediately. Thankfully, those affected are now recovered.

Meet Tess Cleaver, Hospice @Home Manager

Tess Cleaver decided she wanted to work at East Cheshire Hospice when she attended an open day there five years ago.

She was a hospital staff nurse at the time and highly recommends working for the hospice which has now created two more nursing vacancies for qualified nurses.

Tess said: “The experience I gained as a hospital staff nurse was so valuable and I wouldn’t have done what I do here without that background.

“I applied here and was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position on the inpatient unit as a staff nurse. When I attended an open day I thought this is the place where I’d like to be.

“I’ve never looked back and it’s a unique place to place to work. Everyone who works here, whether on the inpatient unit or in the Hospice @Home team, feels privileged to be here.”

Tess, who is now the Hospice @Home Manager, added: “We focus on holistic care and time is allowed for all duties, especially those patient-facing tasks. Everyone has heard of the Hospice and has some kind of experience, whether in a professional capacity or as a volunteer.

“The Hospice is also committed to developing staff through training, education and experience and the support from managers and colleagues is something you’ll never experience anywhere else.”

Hospice @Home Second Anniversary

Hospice @Home has had a ‘massive impact’ since the service was set up by East Cheshire Hospice two years ago.

A growing number of patients are accessing the charity’s specialist palliative care services in the comfort of their own home.

Figures released on the second anniversary of the service show that so far Hospice@ Home staff  have –

* Received 713 referrals.

* Made 6,815 home visits and 3,854 supportive telephone calls.

* Supported 412 people enabling them to die in their preferred place.

Tess Cleaver recently took over a new role as Hospice @Home Manager, having moved from the inpatient unit where she was a staff nurse.

She said: “Hospice @Home is about taking the excellent care we offer here in the inpatient unit and providing that in the community in people’s own homes.

“That was the vision for the service and that’s what’s being delivered. The impact has been massive.”

The service provides hands-on medical care, psychological support, symptom management, end-of- life care and care after death.

Nurses and co-ordinators work closely with other health care agencies, including GPs, district nurses, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

The service is ‘out-of-hours’ operating from 6.30 pm until 8 am and 24 hours at weekends.

Tess added: “If people can stay at home for their end-of-life care it avoids unwanted hospital admissions.

“Families try to do everything they can to look after their loved one and keep them at home but sometimes it becomes too much and they can’t help them in the way they’d like any more.

“Typically, a patient might need assistance with getting ready for bed, having a wash or going to the bathroom at 2 am. For them and their family that’s a crisis.

“That’s when our services come in to support the family. If no care were available, they may want to get them into hospital and because we’re helping we avoid those situations and that helps the NHS.”

Hospice @Home costs £2.2m for the first five years and is funded entirely by donors.

Tess said: “We wouldn’t be able to offer this service without the donors’ commitment so we’d like to thank them.

“People can’t put into words their gratitude for our service which involves collaborative working between several agencies. The need for those services will only become greater.”