29th June 2021
Patients shape services in new unit
Patients with terminal illness are helping to shape services at Nottinghamshire Hospice as it prepares to reopen for group activities from 19th July.
Since May, staff at the hospice have invited 50 patients in for one-to-one appointments and assessments, and asked them what activities they’d like to see at the hospice’s new GRACE unit which will deliver a programme of therapy and wellbeing services tailored to patients’ needs.
GRACE unit manager Clair Marshall said: “We’re really looking forward to being able to start running group activities again. We’ve asked patients what they want and they’ve suggested things like a book club and a current affairs group.
“Our aim is to help patients achieve their goals keep their independence as long as possible and make the most of each day. We will offer timely personalised support to meet their needs whether those are health, social, practical or emotional.”
Each patient will be offered a programme of activities tailored to their individual needs which might include yoga, relaxation, gentle exercise, complementary therapies and creative activities alongside one-to-one physio and occupational therapy.
Kate Poole, from Beeston, was the first patient to walk back through the hospice doors after reopening in May.
Prior to lockdown last year Kate, who has metastatic breast cancer, had been attending Day Therapy once a week, and was due to start counselling.
Kate said: “It’s wonderful to be back. I’ve missed it so much. It’s great to be with people who understand what you’re going through. This feels like the beginning of the new normal.
“I’m excited about the new service. It seems to offer what I need – smaller groups with people with similar needs to me. If it gets us back in there talking to people in a similar predicament it’s a great thing.”
A warm welcome
Kate was initially reluctant to come to the hospice but her perceptions soon changed once she came to look around the building.
“As soon as I walked through the door I was made to feel so welcome. There was no pressure. I didn’t feel intimidated. It felt right for me.
“Coming to the hospice has given me a totally different outlook on my illness and other peoples’ illnesses. It made me feel I’m worth more than just ‘Kate with cancer’. It also gave my husband Colin a chance to have a break, go fishing and get his thoughts together.
“It’s just a happy place. I’ve done things I never thought I’d do. I got involved in everything whether it’s painting bottles or making decorations. I’ve also made great friends at the hospice who understand what I am going through.”
Café and Care
The hospice is also preparing to open its Café and Care facility to patients, their carers, family members and friends. It will offer a chance to talk to staff and volunteers over a cup of tea and cake, learn about hospice services, and get advice and informal support.
Café and Care will be open five days a week between 10am-2pm, from Monday 19th July.