Weston Hospicecare has launched an appeal to fund a new community nurse who will help support the charity’s rising demand to offer care for people in their home.
The hospice has provided support to people with life-limiting conditions in Weston-super-Mare and northern Somerset for 30 years, having started to do so in 1989.
While the charity does offer services at its Jackson-Barstow House in Uphill, it’s the care and support given to patients in their homes which places the greatest demand on nurses.
Community nurse specialist Gwen Harding says their biggest challenge is now ensuring the delivery of kind and compassionate care away from the hospice’s base can continue and grow.
She says: “What people don’t always realise is that we have eight community nurses who care for hundreds of patients and their families in their own home, from Clevedon all the way down to Highbridge.
“As a proud member of that team, I know when someone is told they have a life-limiting illness, it can feel as though their world has fallen apart. But it’s where we can step and help carry some of that burden.
“Our goal is to help each person we meet live their life to the absolute fullest. This means – helping alleviate someone’s pain and bringing quality to the days that remain.
“It means support and reassurance for a patient or for a loved one and it means time; one of the most valuable things we can give other people.
“Over the past few years we’ve been called on to care for more people coping with a life-limiting illness. I’m proud to say we have never, ever, turned anyone away.
“But our biggest challenge today is meeting the need for the kind of compassionate, specialist care that Weston Hospicecare has delivered for the past 30 years.
“Recently we have been completely flat out. Each of us does our best but our dedicated team is reaching breaking point.
“We absolutely must act to make sure no-one slips through the net and ensure we never have to say ‘no’ to someone at the most vulnerable time in their life.
“Thank you to everyone who supports the appeal.”
It costs £152.84 for a Weston Hospicecare community nurse specialist to give care every day. To provide compassionate care in the final week of a person’s life, when they will need the charity’s care and expertise the most, costs £1,069.88.
Just £32.75 would be enough to cover the very first visit by the charity’s new community nurse specialist.
To help Gwen and the clinical team at Weston Hospicecare fund a new community nurse specialist, visit westonhospicecare.co.uk/nurseappeal or to make a donation in-person visit Jackson-Barstow House.