On October 6th the West Essex and Hertfordshire charity, St Clare Hospice, welcomed its first group of attendees to its new Living Well programme. The Living Well programme forms part of the Hospice’s new Wellbeing Hub – offering care, education and support to people in the local community, enabling them to live well with life-limiting illnesses.
The launch of the new services ties in with Hospice Care Week, a national awareness week running 4-8 October 2021. The Wellbeing Hub demonstrates the breadth of hospice care available, and has been established in tandem with a national shift towards a culture of enablement, placing individuals’ goals for living at the centre of their support.
“Often hospices are seen as a place to die, but hospices are so much more than that. Our new Wellbeing Hub is here to help people carry on living – enabling them to stay in control of their care and keep doing the things in their life that are important to them,”
comments Trevor Farrington, Nurse Consultant at St Clare Hospice, who has been overseeing the development of the Hospice’s new services.
Maintaining normality for as long as possible, alongside preparing for death, were found to be the most important priorities for individuals receiving palliative care in a recent study. St Clare Hospice’s Wellbeing Hub supports these priorities with their sensitive and newly dynamic approach to care.
“The Living Well programme responds effectively to the needs of our local community,” explains Trevor. “People with life-limiting illness want a better understanding of their care and more information about how they can live well. Sessions such as ‘Advanced Care Planning’ and ‘Preparing for your next consultation’ will meet those needs.”
Alongside the new six-week Living Well programme, offering tailored group sessions that focus on independence and self-care, the Hospice has a varied programme of community events, helping local people to create new support networks and learn how to face the challenges of living with a life-limiting illness.
“One of the Wellbeing Hub’s primary ambitions is for the Living Well programme to act as a catalyst for peer-support networks,” says Trevor. “Beyond the six-week programmes, attendees are encouraged to attend St Clare’s existing networking events including Café Clare and the Bereavement Cafes, which connect people through shared experience.”
The pinnacle of the Hospice’s community events programme will be an informal information session where local people are able to find out more about a particular subject to support self-care and enable people to feel empowered to manage their own care pathways. These hour-long events will run every two months, with the first one taking place at the Hospice on Tuesday 9th November and focusing on the importance of self-care.
Additionally, a new series of expert-led clinics addressing the most complex needs of people with life-limiting illnesses, is forming part of the Wellbeing Hub’s three-tiered model of care. These clinics are available to patients following an assessment of their needs. Current clinics include:
- Advance Care Planning Clinic
- Holistic Needs Assessment Clinic
- Breathlessness Clinic
- Complex Symptom Control Clinic
The Hospice’s community education and networking events are free to attend, and are aimed at those experiencing a life-limiting illness, or people caring for someone who is. They can be booked via the Hospice’s website: stclarehospice.org.uk/events
People diagnosed with a life-limiting illness should seek a referral to the Hospice’s Wellbeing Hub services via their health or social care professional, or can contact the Hospice directly, via the First Contact Service on 01279 773774
Photo: Photo 1: St Clare Hospice’s Therapy Team along with the first attendees of the Wellbeing Hub’s new Living Well programme.
About St Clare Hospice:
St Clare Hospice is a charity providing specialist palliative care for people living with terminal or life-limiting illnesses across West Essex and East Herts border. We care for patients and their families, providing physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual support, and ensuring they have timely access to skilled, compassionate and sensitive care in a place of their choice. Our services are free of charge to those who need our care, but cost around £5 million a year to run. With limited NHS funding we need to fundraise the majority of this each year through donations and other voluntary sources.
 Tiberini, Rebecca and Richardson, Heather, ‘Enabling people to live fully until they die: A challenge for the 21st century’, Rehabilitative Palliative Care (Hospice UK 2015). Foreword.
 Johnston (2010)