Baroness Jay of Paddington laying the foundation stone of the inpatient unit
St Clare Hospice, that charity that cares for patients in West Essex and East Hertfordshire, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The hospice supported its first patient in 1990. Since forming, the specialist palliative care charity has supported more than 15,000 families facing one of life’s most difficult journeys.
Sarah Thompson, Chief Executive of St Clare Hospice, said: “30 years ago St Clare was founded by a small group of dedicated people who had the vision to support all local people facing death, dying and loss. I am proud to say that this vision remains at the heart of all we do today.
“From the seed that was planted three decades ago, and with the support of our generous local communities and supporters, we have grown to become a leading organisation in the field of specialist palliative care. But, looking ahead to what the next 30 years will hold for us, it is clear that our support will be needed more than ever.”
Sarah continued: “We know that 2,900 people die each year in West Essex, and that of these, it estimated that 75 per cent of these deaths would have been predictable. We also know that the number of people who die in hospital in our local area is higher than the national average – and yet the vast majority of people would prefer to die in their own home or a hospice. We will therefore need to step up to the mark, and support even more people in the coming years, to ensure no one in our community faces death and loss on their own.”
One of the Hospice’s longest standing members of staff is the Medical Director, Dr Qamar Abbas, who joined St Clare in 2000 when the Inpatient Unit first opened.
Reflecting on the organisation’s 30th anniversary, Dr Abbas commented: “When I joined St Clare back in 2000 I was the only doctor and we had less than 50 staff in total. We now have 5 doctors, more than 170 staff and over 550 volunteers. We cared for around 350 patients a year in 2000 and now we support more than 1,500 people annually, and offer support services to an additional 500 family and friends.”
Dr Abbas continued: “We wouldn’t have been able to grow our services and support this many people without the ongoing support of our local community. On behalf of everyone at St Clare Hospice we want to say thank you to the people of West Essex and East Herts for supporting your local hospice over the past three decades, and enabling us to care for people and families in your local community.”
For more information visit St Clare Hospice