End-of-life care in Ottery St Mary has been made a priority and awarded a £50,000 boost to give patients more choice.
Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends has donated the funds to Hospiscare over the last year to support the charity’s aim of providing specialist end-of-life care in the community.
The donation from Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends will support Hospiscare’s work in the town, funding three vital services – a community nurse specialist, the set-up of nurse-led clinics at Ottery Hospital and the development of new education sessions on end-of-life care for other health professionals.
The money also means patients can make choices about their care and where they are seen.
Adrian Rutter, chair of Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends, said: “The Ottery Hospital Friends work very closely with local GPs and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hopsital, who both agree that end-of-life care is a priority for the local community.
“The Friends are delighted to work with Hospiscare as a trusted partner that shares the same vision.”
Rachel Willmott, an advanced nurse practitioner at Hospiscare, whose role was funded by Ottery League of Friends’ donation, said the money would have a ‘big impact’ to patient care in the town.
She said: “This has enabled us to use the Ottery St Mary Hospital site to run nurse-led clinics where patients are invited to attend for assessment and support.
“This offers choice to patients who might otherwise have been seen at home.
“It also offers an earlier introduction to the many services we provide with Hospiscare and helps us build relationships, as well as find out how best we can support people in the community.”
Ann Rhys, deputy director of nursing and care at Hospiscare, said the introduction of nurse-led clinics into the charity’s specialist palliative care team at Ottery was ‘invaluable’.
She said: “A nurse-led clinic is a gentle, non-intrusive introduction for patients in their place of choice.
“It is our aim to be able to offer patients choice about their care and where they are seen.”
Hospiscare said education sessions funded by Ottery League of Friends’ donation enabled the charity to share expert knowledge of palliative care with healthcare assistants, including urgent care and local residential teams.
The charity said feedback from those attending the sessions had been ‘extremely positive’ – helping to address difficult questions, such ‘am I going to die?’.