Heart of Kent Hospice was a finalist at the prestigious Burdett Nursing Awards 2023. The ceremony, which took place at the Waldorf Hotel in London on Thursday 11 May 2023, rewards nursing teams for their sustained commitment to providing high-quality care.
Being short-listed as a Finalist is recognition of the incredible work the Dementia Team carries out at the Hospice. Feedback from the judges was that it was a very difficult decision and that they highly praised the work and innovative practice of the Dementia Team.
In 2015 Heart of Kent Hospice became one of the first UK hospices to offer a full Dementia Service to the local community it serves. It tackled the need head-on, and referrals have been growing consistently since the service was launched. Tracy Jackson, the Head of Dementia Team, steered the delivery of the service from these early beginnings.
Tracy said: “The team at the Hospice are really passionate in their desire to help people with dementia to maintain their independence and to prevent crises and needless hospital admissions.
They give expert advice, practical assistance, and comfort wherever our patients live. They support carers to cope better, preparing them for how the illness will progress. They work closely with other healthcare professionals and services to provide a joined-up approach to each patient’s care in a way which is personalised to the needs of each individual.
“The team are supported by a pool of 24 volunteers who they have specially trained. Some of these volunteers have cared for loved ones who were once patients of the Hospice.
“The team created Making Memories® – a six-week educational and therapeutic programme which patients and their carers attend together. Carers form long-lasting and supportive friendships and patients also enjoy the social interaction of the days.”
The team have been running a monthly drop-in Dementia Café since 2015. It’s held on the first Saturday of every month as there are many carers supporting their loved ones with a dementia diagnosis who still work and are unable to attend weekday services. The Dementia Café is an informal, social occasion with the opportunity to access information and peer support for people living with dementia and for the carers too. It is very well attended with around 100 people coming each month.
To coincide with Dementia Action Week (15-21 May), on Friday 19 May the Team were at the Kent Dementia Showcase event at Detling Showground – and will be able to provide practical information on understanding more about dementia and the work of the Hospice. To find out more about the week’s activities visit www.hokh.org/support-us/events/dementia-roadshow
For more information about supporting the Hospice contact 01622 790195 or visit www.hokh.org
About Heart of Kent Hospice
Heart of Kent Hospice has been providing free, compassionate, end-of-life care to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones in Maidstone, Aylesford, Tonbridge and Malling and the surrounding towns and villages for the past 31 years.
The Hospice has built an excellent reputation within the local community for the quality of its care, which has been further endorsed by the Care Quality Commission who awarded us with an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection in February 2017.
Our vision is for everyone living with a terminal illness in our community to achieve the best quality of life. We are committed to achieving this by enabling them to live in comfort, with independence and dignity to the end of their lives, and to support those closest to them.
Last year the Hospice cared for over 1,800 patients and their families in their own homes or at our Aylesford-based Hospice. Our services cost £5 million a year to run, and we depend heavily on our loyal community of supporters, whose generous donations and fundraising activities raise over £4 million.