A NEW service is being launched by St Barnabas House hospice to mark its 40th year of providing care and treatment to terminally ill patients.
The hospice in Titnore Lane is setting up a Hospice at Home service, which will care for people who prefer to be treated at home, rather than as an inpatient at the hospice.
Chief executive Hugh Lowson said the service would enable the hospice to help more people than ever before.
He said: “Next year is our 40th year, and this year we celebrated one year of being located at our new hospice. Now it is time to launch a service which we hope will help hundreds of people every year.
“We’ve been looking at the local need for our services and how hospice provision is changing and growing. We have identified the need for a Hospice at Home service to complement our in-patient service which has 20 beds and a day hospice which supports 18 patient a day.”
Mr Lowson said the hospice has been working with other healthcare providers, such as doctors, to develop the service.
“We already have a large community team with palliative nurses, but now we want to be able to treat a patient in their own home, if that is something they chose.
“For many patients, they would like to stay in their own home, surrounded by their families and the things they know. We have the expertise and infrastructure at St Barnabas House to be able to branch out to offer our services at people’s homes – it is about complementing our existing services to best meet a patient’s needs.”
The service is expected to cost between £800,000 to £1million over a three-year period, which the charity is funding itself. Mr Lowson said the cost would mean the hospice may run at a deficit next year, however, he said he hoped some government funding would become available.
He added: “Community care is something the government encourages, and it is something we have been wanting to provide for some time. We are investing in the community because the community has invested so much in us.”
The hospice has already employed a person to lead the Hospice at Home service, plus three or four assistants.
The service should start treating patients later this year.