YEP Half and Half Appeal: Help us to ensure death with dignity

editorial image
0
Have your say

As the YEP continues its bid to top £3m for Leeds’ hospices, through the Half and Half Appeal Project £3m, Joanna Wardill today looks at how future donations will be spent...

One of the main financial focuses of the hospices this year is to extend the care hospice nurses offer in the community.

More and more people living with a terminal illness choose to receive care and die in their own homes rather than being treated in hospital or in a hospice. And as the needs of patients change, the hospices have recognised they need to adapt to make sure patients - and their families and carers - receive the best care possible.

Both St Gemma’s Hospice and Wheatfields Hospice have specialist community nursing teams caring for patients in their own homes across Leeds, with Wheatfields covering mainly the west of the city and St Gemma’s mainly the east.

Traditionally, this care has been provided Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. But both hospices have identified that difficulties don’t just arise Monday to Friday and patients need support seven days a week.

So hospice bosses have said some of the money raised through the Half and Half Appeal will go towards funding 24/7, seven days a week, care in the community.

Wheatfields Hospice launched their new seven day a week community nursing service three weeks ago and St Gemma’s Hospice are launching their service in a few weeks’ time. Chiefs at St Gemma’s have identified that they need to raise about £283,385 alone to guarantee the seven day care for the next five years.

Kerry Jackson, chief executive at St Gemma’s, said: “More and more patients with life threatening illnesses want to be cared for at home for as long as possible. We are responding to this by extending our community nursing service this spring. This is a major service development for St Gemma’s Hospice and we are focusing our fundraising efforts on this during 2014.”

Community nursing teams visit patients in their own homes and have vast experience of helping with and treating complex symptoms.

They also provides support for the carers and families of the patient.

Many community nurses are able to prescribe medication themselves and also advise GPs in this specific area.

Main raised through the Half and Half Appeal will help fund the service and support its main aim of allowing more people to stay at home at the end of their lives. A seven day a week service will also help prevent patients being admitted to hospitals over a weekend unnecessarily and support district nurses and out of hours GPs who would be unfamiliar with the patient.

HOW TO DONATE

There are now new and easier ways to donate to the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal.

Donate by visiting: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/YEPHalfandHalfAppeal

Cheques payable to ‘The Yorkshire Evening Post Half & Half Appeal’ to The Editor’s Secretary, Yorkshire Evening Post, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE in an envelope marked ‘Half and Half’. Please keep all tributes fewer than 30 words.

Tell us how you’re raising money for the appeal: yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk or use hashtag #yephalfandhalf

Dean Johnstone, chief executive of Minds Ahead and joint leader of the centre of excellence in Leeds.

#SpeakYourMind: ‘Teachers need to be equipped’ to spot signs of mental health in children