27th January 2021
Cash injection boosts frontline services
An anonymous trust has donated £110,000 to boost frontline services at Nottinghamshire Hospice.
The grant will fund the Hospice Outreach and Discharge Support service (HODS)– set up in May in response to the pandemic – for the first three months of the year.
The service fast-tracks people out of hospital so they can be at home at the end of their lives, and intervenes to prevent hospital admissions.
Hospice intervention helped Nick Pezzolla from Clifton bring his wife Christine out of hospital to spend her final weeks at home where the couple spent their last Christmas together. She passed away in mid-January, aged 72.
Christine, who had Alzheimer’s, suffered internal bleeding in November after falling down the stairs and hitting her head. She was taken to hospital for assessment when Nick was told she was approaching end of life and there was no further treatment available.
“The hospital said they could make her comfortable, or she could move into a residential care home, but I’d already made up my mind to bring her home,” he said.
“I was at the hospital, I’d just finished a conversation about bringing her home, and ten minutes later I got a call on my mobile from Felicity at the hospice, telling me you were coming on board and explaining about all the help you could provide for us. She was great. She was so caring and understanding.
“I knew it would be hard for me but it never occurred to me there was help available until I had that call. I was worried the hospice care would cost a fortune but Felicity reassured me it was all free.”
“If Christine had gone into residential care she would have been very confused and I might not have been allowed to visit. I’d promised her she would never go into a home, and I kept my promise.”
The hospice stepped in the day Christine was discharged with visits from the HODS team plus night support.
Nick said: “I can’t praise the hospice enough. They came at regular intervals during the day and night and If I requested extra help in the night they’d be here within 20 minutes. They helped Christine and helped me too. Then later when they noticed I was looking tired they offered someone to come and stay all night with her so I could get some sleep.”
“Whoever recruits those nurses deserves a medal. They pick the best people! Everyone who came was wonderful. They treat you like a human being not a patient. After her fall Christine wasn’t able to speak, but she recognised your nurses and had a smile for them when they came in the room. They helped Christine and they helped me too.”
Since HODS was set up in May, it has provided vital palliative care to patients across Nottinghamshire in their homes and support for their families. It complements the hospice’s other services which provide care in shifts or night support visits, enabling us to support families round the clock across the city and county. There are currently two teams working with plans for a third.
Jo Polkey, Director of Care at Nottinghamshire Hospice, said: “We’re so grateful for this substantial donation which will secure the service for the next three months.
“Our care is more important than ever during the pandemic as it keeps patients out of hospital, allowing them to spend their last days at home with family around them and keeping beds free for Covid patients. Since the HODS service was set up it’s been very successful and in high demand so we’re delighted to be able to continue it into 2021.
“And if there are any other trusts with end-of-year funds to dispense, please consider supporting us!”