Devon’s Hospiscare launch emergency funding appeal to keep services running

  Posted: 23.11.21 at 14:50 by Kate Baxter

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Local charity Hospiscare provides end of life care and support to adults living with a terminal illness and their families, providing services in Exeter, Mid and East Devon.

The charity provides free of charge care in patients’ homes and community settings, with nursing teams located across the region.

Hospiscare is one of just 200 hospice charities in the UK that has the specialist staff and resources to provide end of life care.

The charity receives only 18% of its funding from the NHS, and it has struggled to generate income during the pandemic.

Many of its fundraising events were cancelled, its charity shops were closed and fewer people have been leaving gifts to Hospiscare in their wills.

Hospiscare has three local sites: Searle House in Exeter, which has a twelve-bed ward and Kings House in Honiton and Pine Lodge in Tiverton, which both provide outpatient services.

Hospiscare nurse Julie on the hospice's specialist ward. Photo credit: Lene Langley/Hospiscare

Hospiscare has been forced to launch an emergency Save our Services Appeal, in which they aim to raise an additional £1 million by March 2022.

The need for end of life care is increasing nationally but the situation is especially acute in Devon, causing the local hospice for Exeter, Mid and East Devon to struggle to keep its vital services running.

Last year, Honiton’s local hospice saw a significant increase in demand for its services, with a 15% rise in patients.

Even before the pandemic, there were concerns about the charitable sector’s ability to meet the current and future demands.

More people than ever are being cared for in a hospice, and this demand is only set to continue: by 2040, people requiring specialist end of life care is projected to increase by 42%.

Hospiscare nurses with SOS banner. Photo credit: Lene Langley/Hospiscare

Devon’s need for hospice care is especially high due to the county’s average age: 25.4% of the population are over 65, and this figure is 7% higher than the national average.

Additionally, Devon has been affected by the closure of community hospitals and its rural environment mean providing end of life care to those with a terminal illness is a particular challenge.

If Hospiscare fail to raise the £1 million that is needed, the impact on the care provided will be very real: it will be forced to close four beds on its specialist ward and reduce its weekend nursing care in patients’ homes.

This reduction in services would have a devastating impact on the community, resulting in turning away over 140 patients per year and losing weekend support for nearly 2,000 patients.

Andrew Welch’s wife, Emma, spent the last weeks of her life on Hospiscare’s specialist ward in 2019.

He explains the impact Hospiscare had on his wife’s last few months of life: “Emma probably had six or seven additional weeks of life because of the care that this hospice provided. It made a phenomenal difference to her life.

“Hospiscare gives those who are dying time, dignity and certainly in my wife’s case, confidence, and they do so in a very dignified and loving atmosphere, which makes a huge difference to everyone involved.”

If you would like to make a donation you can do so here or you can call 01392 688020

Please support the Hospiscare shop on Honiton high street.

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