We are using the annual Hospice Care Week to dispel myths and misconceptions around hospice care. Each day during the week, we will post information on our social media channels about different aspects of the service we provide to local families affected by life-limiting illness.
Judith Moore, Head of Nursing and Patient Services in Hertfordshire, explains: “I think it’s easy for people to assume that hospice care is only for patients in the last few weeks of life, and that a ‘hospice’ must be like a hospital but for people who are dying. But hospice care is about so much more than that. It’s about supporting the whole family to live well, irrespective of their loved one’s illness or prognosis. And supporting them to make sure their loved one can be cared for in the place of their choice towards the end of their life, when that time comes.
“A referral to Rennie Grove gives families access to a level of care that is above and beyond what is provided through the NHS, at no cost to the family, enabling them all to live the best quality life possible.”
We support patients of all ages, and their families, to live well, achieve life goals and create lasting memories. Our team specialises in providing end-of-life care in patients’ homes with our Hospice at Home service, available day and night, helping families to spend quality time together, at home, when every moment matters. Families say having 24-hour access to specialist nursing care is a lifeline, enabling patients to stay at home rather than having to be admitted to hospital.
Judith adds: “Preventing hospital admissions wherever possible has been more important than ever during the pandemic, when COVID-19 restrictions have meant limited visits and visitors.”
The demand for our care increased during the pandemic, and we had to adapt rapidly to keep patients safe and connected. This included everything from setting up virtual exercise classes and therapy sessions, to wearing full PPE in patients’ homes while providing a much-needed and reassuring presence alongside the clinical care and emotional support provided.
“Throughout the pandemic, our specialist nurses made over 15k visits to patients at home, providing over 36k hours of clinical care,” says Judith.
For Angie, friend and neighbour of Richard in a quiet cul-de-sac in Hazelmere, our Hospice at Home care was a game changer.
“The Rennie Grove nurses arranged for just in case medication – drugs he might need urgently to alleviate his symptoms – to be stored in his home. They liaised with the GP and organised everything. They took all that worry away from me. I was his neighbour and his friend and I wanted to help and support him – but I didn’t want to have to make decisions about whether or not he needed to go to hospital – especially when I knew he desperately didn’t want to.
“I know the nurses were such a comfort to him. They would come whenever we called – sometimes in the early hours of the morning – and administer the meds he needed to help with his breathlessness. They were also at the end of the phone to give reassurance and advice. That gave me and his carer, Cindy, the confidence to help him too.”
Carmen Parfitt is a nurse herself and says she was blown away by the care provided to her husband Roy, who was diagnosed with tonsillar cancer in November 2019 and cared for at the couple’s home in Hemel by our nurses. Now Carmen lives in Bedfordshire but wants to do all she can to raise funds for other families to benefit from our specialist care in Bucks and Herts.
Carmen explains: “Last year Rennie Grove provided care and support to me and Roy at the most difficult time in our lives. Roy was able to remain at home pain free and with dignity because of the care provided by the Rennie Grove nurses. We were able to get married at home too, which was all that Roy wished for, supported by dear friends and the team from Rennie Grove. I will be forever grateful for all that they did for us.”
We have to raise over £20,000 every day to keep supporting all the local families who need our care. But just a £30 donation will make a difference, funding an hour of specialist Hospice at Home care and helping patients and their families make every moment matter.
Make a donation to help support our services in your community by clicking here.