Wiltshire Publications

Your local hospice needs you! Donate to Dorothy House’s Stepping Up Support Appeal to fund care during covid-19 pandemic.

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Dorothy House nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants are ready to care for patients on the Hospice’s new inpatient ward opened on 30 March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

THIS week, local Hospice, Dorothy House is launching the ‘Stepping Up Support’ Appeal to help raise funds for their doctors, nurses and carers to provide extra care for the community during the covid-19 pandemic.

In response to rising demand for patient care, Dorothy House has developed new ways to provide care for local people including increasing inpatient bed capacity with a new ward to look after more patients than ever before.

Dorothy House urgently seeks the support of local people and businesses to help them step up their response to the national emergency as the covid-19 pandemic develops. To learn more about the Stepping Up Support Appeal visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk. The appeal aims to provide funding for palliative and end of life patient care over the coming months and invites volunteers to support the work of the Hospice.  As over 70% of the care provided by Dorothy House is usually paid for by fundraising support from the community this appeal will also help replace lost income due to closed charity shops and cancelled fundraising events.

In an unprecedented move Dorothy House has opened a temporary Inpatient Ward and eight new beds within existing therapy rooms at the Hospice in Winsley, with the support of the NHS. This service will care for patients who would otherwise be in hospital and can be discharged to Dorothy House to help reduce pressure on hospitals already working hard to protect local people.

During the pandemic, Dorothy House nurses and carers are also increasing their at-home care for people in their own homes particularly anyone who is more vulnerable in hospital.  Patients isolating at home continue to be supported by the Hospice’s clinical and family support teams to maintain vital contact, either with home visits, a 24-hour advice line or remotely by phone or video calls.  The Hospice is also developing new tools such as videos of physiotherapy exercises made by the Dorothy House Therapies team to help patients stay active at home and a new relaxation CD is being produced for patients to ease anxiety or stress during the pandemic.

As well as seeking funding from the appeal, the Hospice is also asking for volunteer support during the covid-19 emergency. While Dorothy House also has a strong team of existing volunteers, this will allow Hospice doctors and nurses to focus care where they are needed the most.  Volunteers could be asked to help remotely by keeping in contact with patients either online or by phone or by dropping off supplies or checking on people in person. To find out how to get involved visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk.

Jo Millard, from Frome, whose son Benj Millard from Trowbridge was cared for by Dorothy House before he died of bowel cancer aged 33 last April. Jo said: “This appeal is an ideal way for local people to show their support for this essential Hospice during the covid-19 pandemic. Dorothy House gave my son Benj the utmost compassion, care and respect in his last eleven days and nothing was too much trouble for their wonderful staff. My family are always happy to give back to Dorothy House as they not only looked after Benj beautifully but continue to support us a year after his death. They rely heavily on fundraising support from the community to be able to care for families when faced with the unthinkable so please support them if you can.”

Dr Emma Frampton, Medical Director at Dorothy House said: “There is no hesitation on our part. We have seen the need created by the pandemic and we’re acting now to extend our services, support the NHS and protect the most vulnerable in our community. My nursing team are stepping up to help and we know our amazing local communities will do everything they can to support this urgent appeal. Thank you.”

Wayne de Leeuw, CEO at Dorothy House said: “During the covid-19 outbreak we’ll be caring for more inpatients than ever before at the Hospice as well as continuing patient care in the community.  We are working closely with the NHS to help care for discharged patients who require further inpatient care.  When someone in our community reaches the end of life, we have only one chance to support them with the best care we can provide. Palliative care is critical work and becomes even more vital at a time like this. With more patients to look after we must make sure everyone receives compassionate care and support. The COVID-19 outbreak is already having a huge impact on our community and our mission is to step up and deliver essential care when it matters most.”

Dorothy House provides compassionate care, supporting people with life-limiting illness to live well and die well. It serves a community of 550,000 people across Bath and North East Somerset and parts of Wiltshire and Somerset; a 700sq mile area.

All Hospice services are provided free of charge and are made possible by the generous support of the local community, including through the Local Hospice Lottery and people leaving gifts in their wills which funds care for one in five patients. For example, leaving only 1% to Dorothy House would mean loved ones receive 99% of a legacy.

To donate to the Stepping Up Support Appeal as a one-off or regular payment or to register to volunteer visit www.dorothyhouse.org.uk   For information on current Dorothy House services call T: 0345 0130 555.