The new hours of operation, which came into force on Tuesday 1 September, will see the Wolverhampton-based hospice’s nursing team provide care in patients’ own homes from 8am to 9.30pm, seven days a week.
Seven new specialist community nurses have joined the team, bringing the total of nurses offering support in the community to 20.
Community nurses are the first point of contact that most patients have with the hospice, visiting patients regularly to control their pain and symptoms, as well as offering advice and emotional support. However, overcoming patients’ initial perceptions of hospice care can be a challenge.
“When people think of the hospice they think: ‘am I really that poorly?'” Marie Murphy, who has been a community nurse at the hospice for 11 years, said. “But once I have spoken to them in the comfort of their own home, they realise I’m there to help them and it’s like a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders.”
One of Marie’s patients, retired police officer David Jones, added: “When my doctor told me about the hospice I was frightened. To me, Compton was the end. I may be 75 but I have a lot of living to do.
“However, I’ve had nothing but help and I cannot praise the hospice enough. I’m not in pain and Marie has made me feel comfortable. She checks I’m taking the right medication and I put my trust in her. I’ve noticed my strength coming back, I managed to get down the stairs for the first time in weeks. My ambition now is to get in my car and start driving again.
“I’m doing everything I possibly can with the help of Compton Hospice and I feel like I’m back to normal now. Compton is there to help you and I’ve got complete trust in them.”
Annie Millington, the community nursing team leader at the hospice, felt the increased support better reflected the nature of the illnesses that Compton’s patients live with, and hoped that the hospice would be able to reach more people in the area.
“We recognise that people aren’t just sick between the hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday,” she said. “We have expanded the support we offer in order to reach more people with incurable illnesses across Wolverhampton and the Black Country. Compton Hospice is the only adult hospice in the Midlands to offer these extended hours of care.”
She continued: “Referrals to our home care service are increasing. More and more people are expressing their desire to receive care in the comfort of their own homes, in familiar surroundings and amongst their favourite belongings. We are also seeing an increase of people with more complex illnesses being referred for support.”
Visit the Compton Hospice website for full details of the services it offers.