Like many other palliative care providers, we have had to adapt our service quickly to cope with the impact of Covid-19. Over the past six months, we have:
-Gained registration with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) as a Domiciliary Support Service. This will now enable us to expand our hospice at home services to those patients and carers unable to attend our day care facility, by co-ordinating and delivering home support for patients with complex needs, in particular for those living alone, involving palliative nursing, social and emotional support, personal care and carer respite.
-Completed adaptations to Shalom House with grant from WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action): new washable flooring, wipeable recliners, full height screens for patient “pods”, disposable equipment, PPE and sanitising equipment.
– Installed replacement hydrotherapy bath with grant from Pembrokeshire County Council. Patients nearing end of life but still able to travel, have been brought into Shalom House individually for a comforting therapy bath, personal care, reflexology.
– Obtained laptops/tablets from charities/grant to support staff and patients at home, setting up a nurse network and patient in house communication
– Supported families and carers with holistic bereavement service, accessed by many patients and families with heightened anxieties during a time when their treatments were cancelled or postponed. Carers who were unable to be with their loved ones at the end have also been supported.
– Established a Bereavement Counsellor who is registered with the BACP.
– Received Investors in Carers Award.
– Reopened our two shops, albeit with limited volunteers. Relaunched our occasion wear shop in St Davids to Smart Casual. We are adopting innovative methods to recruit younger volunteers from the local college, sea scouts, scouts etc. to support our stalwarts.
- Launched eBay and Facebook market sites to supplement our shop income
- Established a virtual quiz platform, earning £5,000 from our first celebrity event.
- Continued co-operation with our partners:
- Regular contributors to Hywel Dda Strategic Group
- Donated three electric profile beds to Paul Sartori Foundation for their equipment loan scheme
- Opened up a “safe” space venue to Health Board for local North Pembrokeshire clinics eg. Heart Failure Clinic in September
As we strive to adapt our service to meet future challenges, the above has been achieved by a very small team, with little financial support. The many extra hours work involved over contracts have not been charged.
As we have done since lockdown in March, we will continue to provide services to patients diagnosed with life-limiting conditions and their carers, striving to adapt to the many challenges we all face as a result of Covid-19 and beyond.