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Urgent appeal launched to support increased demand for inpatient services

22-03-2022
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Thames Hospice has launched a new fundraising appeal with the goal of raising urgent funds to pay for an additional five Nursing Assistants to support more patients on the Inpatient Unit. Each month the five extra Nursing Assistant posts will cost £10,365; the Hospice would be thrilled if the appeal raised enough to fund 6 months of extra nursing support.

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has eased, the Hospice has continued to face unprecedented demands across its services. Nationally, the average occupancy level for a hospice is 75%; Thames Hospice is now at 92%, making it the busiest hospice in the UK.

During the pandemic, many people haven’t been able to access healthcare or have been reluctant to. Sadly, this has led to later diagnosis, more terminal diagnoses and tragically more people needing the Hospice’s care and support. There are regularly over 10 people desperately waiting for a bed on the Inpatient Unit, people who are in a great deal of pain and distress.

Sister Anne Jones is head of the Inpatient Unit at Thames Hospice. Anne said: “I am so proud to work as part of an incredible team who, despite the greatest challenge in our history, have continued to provide compassionate care and support for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Our Nurses have a relentless workload and are always stretched; over the past month alone we have cared for more than 60 patients on our Inpatient Unit. But we still want every patient to feel like they are our top priority and that we have all the time in the world for them; that is what compassionate end-of-life care should be.

“The extra nursing support will relieve the extraordinary demands on nurses and enable us to help care for more local people who need and deserve the best hospice care.”

Thames Hospice created the new Nursing Assistant role last year to support the development of existing Senior Health Care Assistants and to upskill them to help ease the pressure on nurses during busy shifts on the Inpatient Unit. This is the first role of its kind to be introduced in the hospice sector. Senior Health Care Assistants participate in a 6-month training programme, enhancing their clinical skills and competencies, such as giving oxygen to patients.

Additional Nursing Assistants will enable Thames Hospice to help more people like Alix who received round-the-clock care, counselling and complementary therapy to help her cope with her diagnosis, pain and symptoms. Her husband Andy said: “We knew the Hospice was the best place for her to be. When we called the Hospice was full, but the specialist nurse put Alix as high priority and to my relief she was admitted the next day.

“The nursing team at the Hospice care for you as if you are their only patient; they genuinely care. When Anne or one of the team spoke to her she would open her eyes. They always took the time to talk as they were caring for her; it was never rushed.

“The nurses had such a kind way of speaking with Alix. We always felt that Alix was a person to the nursing team, not another patient.

“I know from Anne and her team that they need to fund more nursing care; the team are stretched, tired and have no time to recover from the pandemic, but they are dedicated to their patients. Please donate so every patient can get the most loving personal care and kindness like Alix did.”

You can donate to the Nursing Assistants appeal by clicking the button below.

Donate now

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