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Support from the Edward Gostling foundation to develop hospice at home services

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Thames Hospice is thrilled to announce that The Edward Gostling Foundation has made a significant commitment of support over the next five years, enabling the charity to continue to invest in and develop its Hospice at Home Service.

The Edward Gostling Foundation has supported the Hospice for several years and has chosen them as a legacy partner as part of their long term commitment to ‘help people remain independent’.

Edward Gostling Foundation Chair, Denis Taylor says “We have watched Thames Hospice grow over the years to meet demand and feel proud to have supported them on their journey. When their CEO, Catherine McLaughlin and Medical Director Dr Nick Dando came to see us last year the trustees were impressed with their vision.

“Demand for local hospice care will significantly rise over the next 10 years and the Foundation wants to be part of the solution to enable more people to be cared for at home, reducing pressure on the hospice and hospitals and giving people choice”.

In December 2022, Thames Hospice enhanced its Hospice at Home Service with the launch of a ‘Virtual Ward’. Initially piloted for 18 months with funding from the NHS, the pioneering doctor-led service cares for acutely unwell patients at home. The Hospice’s Multi-Disciplinary Team provides vital clinical care and support to help keep patients with complex palliative and end-of-life care needs at home, if this is their preferred place of care.

Dr Patrick Clarke, Virtual Ward Speciality Doctor reflects, “When I joined Thames Hospice in 2022, I was looking after our most seriously ill patients on the Inpatient Unit, but I knew there were many more who would have liked to have been cared for at home. Now our doctor-led home care through the Virtual Ward enables faster discharge of patients from hospital, or can prevent them from being admitted at all. The Virtual Ward increases the opportunity for more complex palliative patients to be looked at home with more choice of place of care."

The Virtual Ward has been enormously successful, supporting over 150 patients since its launch, relieving the pressure on the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit and enabling patients to be discharged more quickly from hospital. Thames Hospice patient Michelle lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and recently accessed the Hospice’s Virtual Ward Service.

Michelle says, “I was really scared. I never felt so poorly. I thought this is this it, this is the end”. The Virtual Ward enabled Michelle to get the vital care she needed in the comfort of her own home. With daily visits from the Multi-Disciplinary Team, led by the Hospice’s team of Doctors, Michelle’s infection cleared and her symptoms were back under control within two weeks. Michelle adds, “Without the Thames Hospice Doctors treating me at home, I don’t know where I would have been. I was so scared but the Hospice at Home Team were there for me.”

Fundraising Director Janes Symmons adds, “We are enormously grateful to all the staff and trustees of The Edward Gostling Foundation for their vision to support the future of hospice care. Following the end of the pilot programme, we knew our Virtual Ward needed to be a core offering and, through this long term gift, we can now plan our care, think to the future and give patients choice about where they want to die.”

The Foundation is funding a significant proportion of the Hospice’s Hospice at Home Virtual Ward costs. If you would like to know more about the programme or how you can also support this vital service, please contact Thames Hospice on 01753 848924.

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