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Fundraising appeal launched to help Thames Hospice give care at home when it matters most

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

Thames Hospice has launched an appeal to raise funds for their Hospice at Home service to give more patients dignity, comfort and the choice to die at home. Last December, Thames Hospice enhanced their Hospice at Home service with the introduction of doctor-led care, allowing patients with complex symptoms to get the expert care and support they need from a team of specialist doctors at home, rather than being in hospital. The Hospice now urgently needs support from its community to raise £150,000 this year to deliver this service and help more local people die with dignity and the choice to be cared for at home.

Dr Patrick Clarke is a Specialist Palliative Care Doctor at Thames Hospice. He said: “Our Hospice at Home Team has been providing compassionate nursing care for patients for many years. But these patients are extremely unwell and need specialist care for a short period, with multiple daily care visits from a multi-disciplinary team – previously you would only find this as an inpatient in a hospital or hospice, without the choice to be cared for at home. But it is where many patients want to be and often it is better for them and their family.”

Unfortunately, some patients are often left stuck in hospital, even though they could be discharged home with the appropriate care. The NHS is providing some initial funding to help set up this enhanced Hospice at Home service, as it will relieve pressure on hospitals, but it is not enough.

Dr Patrick continues: “There are patients in our community who have received the shock of a late terminal diagnosis, many stuck in hospital; they need care and support like ours to get them home with their loved ones and make the most of the precious time they have left.

“With our doctor-led care, patients can get a rapid discharge from hospital and set up with all the equipment and care they need within hours of referral.”

Last December Thames Hospice helped Michelle who has lung disease avoid an unnecessary hospital stay, remaining at home whilst being cared by the enhanced Hospice at Home Team. Michelle said: “This service is really good because you can still be at home and still have all the professionals there to help you. 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 team were there for me.

“Thames Hospice is like family to me now. I’d be lost without them. Some people want to be cared for in the Hospice, and some people don’t or can’t. Giving them the choice to be in their own home is really good.”

Every donation to this appeal will have double the impact for patients like Michelle, thanks to match funding. Generous donors who support Thames Hospice have agreed to match the first £50,000 of donations made to this appeal before 14 May. This means for every pound you donate, they will give a pound.

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