Hospice work is expanded
Keech Hospice Care is stepping up its palliative care programme, as doctors across the country warn of a growing crisis in caring for people dying of cancer, dementia and long-term diseases.
A report in the British medical journal Supportive and Palliative Care says doctors are calling for more hospices, care homes and other end-of-life facilities to cope with the rising demand.
Since Keech opened its Palliative Care Centre last summer, numbers have increased by almost 50 per cent, leading to a dramatic expansion of the service.
The trend is expected to continue as the charity reaches out to more people than ever before across Luton, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes.
A spokeswoman said: “The Centre is now a fully functioning outpatient facility where people can come to doctor and nurse-led clinics, have blood tests and transfusions, infusions and various complementary therapies.
“They can also receive palliative care and social worker support.
“In addition they can be referred to a Macmillan psychologist or psychotherapist and have access to pre-bereavement counselling.”
The Centre’s facilities are used by patients who are suffering from a wide range of illnesses and who are deemed to be within the last two years of their lives.
The team is made up of experienced nurses, carers, doctors, therapists, trained volunteers and other professionals including a palliative care social worker, chaplains, counsellors and bereavement workers.
Keech Palliative Care Centre manager Sybil Almassey-Wade explained: “We are helping to take the pressure off hospitals by providing patients with the support that they need.
“Medical advances mean people with life-limiting illnesses survive longer and we aim to give these patients the highest quality of care for as long as they need us.
“The future vision for KPCC is to continue meeting as many patients’ needs as possible while expanding to accommodate more services and increase patient access.”
Keech Hospice Care depends on the public to raise more than 75 per cent of its £5 million annual running costs as only 25 per cent comes from the National Health Service.
> For more information ring 01582 492339 or visit www.keech.org.uk
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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