Sidmouth Hospiscare: Sterling work in our community

PUBLISHED: 18:30 25 May 2012

Hospital patient

Hospital patient

Archant

DRIVING forces behind Sidmouth Hospiscare hope to raise awareness of the charity’s sterling work with an open day next Friday (June 1).

The cause, based at Keel House in May Terrace, has a team of four palliative nurses who care for people with life threatening illnesses – and says around 95per cent of its patients have cancer-related diseases.

The charity also has around 30 volunteers, most of whom are drivers, who help patients get to hospital appointments in Exeter or Sidmouth.

Sidmouth Hospiscare is managed by trustees who meet once every three months to monitor, support and take decisions on the whole service.

“Our aim is to provide a service that encompasses the physical and emotional needs of patients with practical advice,” said chairman Lisa Craig. “Support groups for bereaved people are run by bereavement volunteers and a support group for carers, and a link group for carers in nursing and residential homes, are run by the nurses.”

The nurses, team leader Julie Morris, Chrissy Hussey, Rachael MacKinnon and Sarah Shaw, care for people through all stages of their illness. Many patients prefer to stay at home rather than be in hospital away from their loved ones - especially those who are in their final days.

The nurses’ day starts at 8.30am when they meet to discuss any overnight calls or visits to patients and the day’s workload.

They work closely with other providers of supportive care and consult with hospital staff , GPs and community nurses.

“Drivers, bereavement volunteers, a friends group and trustees all give their time free of charge and are dedicated in making this a service to be proud of.

“We are always in need of more volunteer drivers and are currently looking for a few more trustees,” added Lisa.

Sidmouth Hospiscare was formed in 1984 and is a registered charity.

As well as looking after patients at home in the Sid Valley, Sidmouth Hospiscare funds any Sidmouth person who requires a stay in Exeter’s hospice – even if they are not known to the cause.

Next Friday’s open day will take place from 10am to 2pm. There will be a raffle, toys, knitted items, cards and cream teas.

All are welcome.

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