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Hospice expands community services to support local care homes

Amid the growing reports of the huge impact of the coronavirus on the care homes sector, Thames Hospice Chief Executive Debbie Raven wrote to local care homes last week offering them access to the charity’s community services to support residents.

Debbie Raven said: “As we have seen across our entire health system, organisations are having to continually change and adapt in the face of this unprecedented situation.

“At Thames Hospice we reviewed our existing services and made the decision to expand our Community Team to be able to support and care for more patients facing a terminal illness in their own homes, to help reduce the risk and spread of infection and, where possible, to avoid admission to hospital.”

Debbie continued: “We also felt it was critical to reach out to our fellow local health care partners and offer them access to our community services to help them continue to provide the highest level of care and support to their residents at this uncertain time.”

Local care homes will be able to call the Hospice’s Telephone Advice Line on 01753 848925 for support and advice if they are concerned about a resident’s health and wellbeing. The Advice Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is managed by a team of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

If required, the Hospice can also arrange for its clinical team to visit a care home resident and provide medical support, as well as admission to the Inpatient Unit for symptom management or end-of-life care.

Debbie added: “One of the most humbling aspects of the coronavirus so far is the willingness of so many people who work in health and social care to risk their own health and wellbeing to give the care, support and treatment urgently needed by so many people across the UK. Together, we can—and we will—beat this.”