This month we join Hospice UK and our colleagues across the country to mark Hospice Care Week (9th-15th October 2023).
During this special week, we take the opportunity to honour and applaud the incredible individuals who play a pivotal role in delivering exceptional end-of-life care.
Right now, the challenge is very real due to sky rocketing costs. Did you know there is a combined planned deficit of £186 million for UK hospices this year?
From dedicated nurses, compassionate doctors, and empathetic social workers to the selfless volunteers, diligent cleaners, and skilled therapists – it's these remarkable individuals who are there when it matters the most.
Hospices play a vital role in supporting over 300,000 people each year. However, the demand for hospice care continues to rise. The challenge lies in finding enough individuals to fill the essential roles required to care for patients and their families during this sensitive time. Without a sufficient workforce to step into these roles, hospices may encounter difficulties in maintaining the high-quality end-of-life care that every individual deserves.
We caught up with two very important members of the team at Nottinghamshire Hospice (one of our 17 partner hospices at Your Hospice Lottery) to gain a valuable insight into working on the front line in hospice care.
“Working in bereavement every day is different, we never know what we are going to get as a referral. There’s often challenging and very emotional circumstances, but it’s great that we are able to help support them, both at end of life and after their death.”
“Working for the hospice is very challenging in terms of emotions. We deal obviously with very sad cases and people on a daily basis that have lost loved ones through very tragic circumstances. It’s important for us as a team to support each other and make sure that we are all looking after ourselves and wellbeing.
Since the Covid pandemic we have seen a huge increase in bereavement referrals. Sadly, there are waiting lists nationally for people to access bereavement services as they are very limited. Without these services people would lead to more problems with mental health and issues around wellbeing. So providing the services we do enables these people to access support and if there wasn’t the support more and more people would be suffering and having to go to mental health services or GP services.”
“I chose to work at Nottinghamshire Hospice because I respected their values and have the same values. I wanted to work with care and look after people and support them at a very difficult time in their life. This makes me feel very humble that the stories I hear and people share with me and I just go home every evening thinking wow I have actually made a difference to that person’s life.”
“Working at the hospice is absolutely amazing for me. I came from acute trust, so it’s very busy, patients are out of their own home. They are often not wanting to be out of their own home, whereas the services that we provide within the community at the hospice, people are comfortable, they are happy, they want to die in their own home. And I’m just privileged to be able to support that and be there with them throughout that whole journey. Not just for patients, but with their family as well. That’s why the hospice services are so important for everybody in Nottinghamshire.”
“It’s so personal and it’s so enjoyable for the patient and for us because they’re in their own environment and they can just be themself. People only die once, so we’ve only got one chance to get it right.
It is a very emotional job – we currently deal with some very distressing situations and we have to deal with the emotion of ourself and patients and also their families. I can take pride in the fact that I can help them and I can make a difference for them so that makes everything 100% worth it for me. I have a good focus on staff wellbeing as well. Staff and patient wellbeing is a big focus of mine.”
“I have got a passion for end-of-life care and I’ve got a passion for caring for people and I think it is a privilege to look after somebody in the last days and weeks of their life, so it was a no-brainer for me! I wanted to do something that was meaningful and that people really need and appreciate and people really do.”
Hospice Care Week reminds us of the importance of compassionate care at the end of life's journey. It encourages us to reflect on the values of dignity, comfort, and support that hospice care represents.
Your £1 can make such a difference to somebody’s life and you never know when you might need your local hospice.
Hospice finances are being stretched to the brink. Hospice UK confirmed that 96% of their hospice members are budgeting for a deficit next year bringing the total deficit to a staggering £186million. This is why we need people like you, reading this now, to help our partners.
By playing Your Hospice Lottery, you can support essential hospice services by pledging just £1 a week. Play the lottery today to keep that service running so they will be there at a time when you need them most.
To find out more about how Nottinghamshire Hospice support those in need in their local community, visit their website below.