Heart of the Hospice volunteer and supporter Christine Grew was the special guest at the official launch of a new end of life care service.
Christine cut the purple ribbon to open the Sandwell and West Birmingham Connected Palliative Care Hub and spoke before more than 100 people who attended the event.
Based at Sandwell Hospital, the hub brings together the expertise of John Taylor Hospice, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospice, CrossRoads Care and Age Concern to offer joined up palliative and end of life care to people in Sandwell and West Birmingham.
Christine told the assembly that having the very best of care had made such a difference to her family, sharing how John Taylor Hospice teams had supported her husband. After being diagnosed with inoperable cancer, David Grew wanted to remain at their Erdington home and support from the hospice enabled him to die at home surrounded by his family three years ago.
It was this care which prompted Christine, aged 66, to volunteer in the Heart of the Hospice where she hosts once a week. Christine has also fundraised for John Taylor and took part in the Birthday Walk and Fun Day.
After cutting the ribbon at the hub, Christine said: “It was marvellous to be part of the launch and to see how care is going to be in the future. All the health professionals worked together to care for my husband and it’s good to know that kind of care will be available to other families.
“I can never thank John Taylor Hospice for all the care they gave my husband and I hope that other people will now also be able to access that kind of care.”
The Connected Palliative Care service has been commissioned by Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and offers round-the-clock access to a wide range of services for patients at end of life including hospice beds, specialist palliative care and domestic support.