Every day and night, St Margaret’s nurses and frontline staff are giving vital support to dying people and their families, in their homes, at our hospice and via our 24-hour adviceline.
Imagine that you are having to deal with all that COVID-19 has thrown at you, whilst also having a life-limiting illness. It’s likely that you know someone in this situation. It’s at this time more than ever, when they are self-isolating and home alone, that our patients need the support and reassurance that St Margaret’s can provide.
In a short space of time we have adapted our services to ensure that, even if it is not safe to see our patients face to face, they can still speak directly to us on the phone. Other health care professionals in the county – not used to providing end of life care – are also contacting us to access expert advice about symptom management and practical end of life support. More than 100 additional calls to our 24 hour adviceline were answered by our specialist staff during March.
New resources for families and carers have been created and are now available on our website – with videos demonstrating how to give medicines or cope with breathlessness. And tools to help families and friends say goodbye to people they love in these most unprecedented circumstances.
Everything we are doing helps reduce the pressure on our NHS colleagues and minimises the number of unnecessary hospital admissions for end of life patients in Somerset. And while huge uncertainty remains, there is one thing that will not change – our goal to help ensure dying people in our community receive the best care they can.
But all of these services come at a cost. And at a time when an increasing number of people and their families desperately need us, our ability to generate income is seriously compromised. All of our events, collections and community fundraising have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Our volunteers and lottery canvassers are unable to collect on the streets. And our 33 shops are temporarily closed. We’ve never faced such a significant financial challenge in our 40-year history.
That’s why we have launched an urgent appeal to help replace the funding we are losing. By donating to our appeal, you can help our doctors and nurses continue caring for a growing number of dying patients across Somerset, while supporting our NHS colleagues with end of life care in the coming weeks and months. Dying people and their families need your help right now.
Help your Hospice from Home
£10 could keep a hospice nurse in our community safe today with essential equipment – masks, gloves, aprons and hand rub - as they care for the most vulnerable in our community
£25 could pay for an hour of practical help and advice provided by one of our nurses via our 24-hour adviceline, to a patient or family member who is self-isolating at home, afraid or alone
£100 could pay to equip a specialist community nurse to continue safely visiting a patient who is isolated at home
Our doctors, nurses and therapists urgently need your support so that they can keep caring for dying people and their families across Somerset. If you can, please donate what you can afford, and help spread the word and ask others to do the same.