ST BARNABAS: Raising awareness and dispelling common misconceptions associated with hospice care

Hugh Lowson
Hugh Lowson
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You may know that we are midway through Hospice Care Week, an annual week of activity which is all about raising awareness of hospice care and dispelling some of the common misconceptions associated with it.

In light of this, in my column this week I have decided to address some of the misunderstandings people often have.

Did you know that of the £5.9million it costs to provide all of our services over the course of the year, only 21 per cent is government funded?

The majority comes through fundraising and people’s generous donations.

Hospice care is no longer based around a building.

In 2012 we launched our Hospice at Home service and last year we provided end of life care for 429 patients in their own homes.

Hospice care is not just for people with cancer either.

Recently we have employed four new specialist nurses to provide care for those with renal failure, liver failure, heart failure and dementia.

I must stress that we are not turning our back on cancer patients, simply developing our services to meet an increasing unmet need.

But perhaps the most common misconception of them all is that hospices are sad places.

In actual fact, a lot of the people involved in hospice care, staff and volunteers alike, will tell you that it can be a very happy place.

While there are the sad days, we all do our best to ensure that people are able to live the end of their life in, as much as possible, a positive way.

To find out more about Hospice Care Week and how you can get involved, please visit www.stbh.org.uk/hospicecareweek

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