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John Taylor Hospice Plans The Way Ahead

Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice is aiming to reach more local families as it launches The Way Ahead, its new Three Year Strategic Plan.

Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice is aiming to reach more local families as it launches The Way Ahead, its new Three Year Strategic Plan.

The hospice, which has been at the heart of the city for more than 100 years, will achieve its aim by extending the hours of its Hospice at Home service which cares for people at end of life in their own homes, updating its day service and introducing new clinics.

An expert in providing care to people with a range of conditions including motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis, John Taylor will also expand its non-cancer provision, ensuring more people with terminal illnesses can receive help when, how and where they need it.

Hospice CEO Penny Venables said: “We are really proud of our three year strategy which will help us achieve our mission of a compassionate and dignified death for all.

“We know that John Taylor Hospice can make all the difference as people approach end of life and we are determined to ensure that care is available for more and more people in the future.”

The strategy document, which is available to view or download on the hospice website, https://www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk/assets/000/001/899/The_Way_Ahead__Our_Three_Year_Strategic_Plan_original.pdf
also sets out the hospice’s plans to increase income by opening shops and supporting fundraisers in organising events.

“Like most hospices, we receive funding from the NHS but we also need the financial support of people and businesses to ensure we can provide the care we know local families need,” said Penny.

And John Taylor, which was a pathfinder for the national Hospice UK Open Up Hospice Care campaign last year, is also committed to changing society’s perceptions around death and dying.

“The more society talks about death and dying, the more people will demand specialist care which meets their needs,” added Penny. “As a hospice, we have an essential part to play locally and nationally in ensuring end of life care remains a critical part of healthcare funding. We’re also building partnerships with other health providers including hospices to meet local need.”

John Taylor Hospice was founded in 1910 and became part of the NHS in 1948, becoming independent in 2011. It provides care for local families at its hospice in Erdington and in the local community.

Services include its In-Patient Unit, Living Well Centre which provides day services, Well-Being Service and Community Teams including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists and Patient and Family Support Worker.

Penny added: “Our mission is to provide specialist care for people living with a terminal illness and their families and we need to respond to an every changing health environment. The Way Ahead – Our Three Year Strategic Plan provides us with the tools to do that. It is an exciting time for us and we look forward to the changes we will be making to bring our specialist care to more local families.”

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Joanne’s Journey

“I needed a lifeline”,”

Hagley resident, Joanne, was diagnosed with multiple Myeloma in October 2013.

Joanne said, “At the beginning of my journey, I wondered how I was going to face the prospect of chemotherapy and losing my hair. How would I feel emotionally? Was I going to be able to cope with it all? The period before starting chemotherapy, I began to get very tired, my joints ached and I found that the one hundred and ten per cent I normally put into my job as a Teaching Assistant was reducing very fast.  I needed a life line.

I spoke to my GP and I can’t thank him enough because it opened a door to KEMP Hospice.  The word ‘hospice’ had always conjured up in my mind, elderly men and women lying silently in hospital beds or sitting asleep in old high back chairs waiting for their next meal. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality KEMP Hospice was my lifeline – it is a vibrant, warm friendly place that provides a great many services to people with life limiting illness in the Wyre Forest.”

The support from the Hospice included help through counselling to enable Joanne to deal with the emotional strain of her treatments.  Joanne, like many people, found this service enormously helpful.  She also benefitted from complementary therapy in the early stages of her chemotherapy, she said, “There is nothing better than a shoulder and neck massage when you’re feeling wound up!”

Joanne has now completed her course of chemotherapy and she is still being supported by the Hospice, mainly from their physiotherapist, Jackie Godfrey who is helping Joanne to regain some of her physical strength and improve muscle tone, which will enable her to walk up and down the stairs independently.  She is looking to the future and has returned to work part time is helping at her local amateur theatre group on some weekends.

She commented, “I am so grateful to everyone at KEMP, without them, I think I would have reached rock bottom. I know that the money to provide the services comes mainly from voluntary donations, so I’ve started raising money.  I want other people who are going through tough times either with a life limiting illness or experiencing bereavement to be able to have a lifeline just like me.   I know what an amazing difference the Hospice services make and I want others to benefit.”