St. James’s Place Foundation grants enable choice at the end of life

Categories: Care.

This year’s programme is open for applications, and is looking to support innovative community volunteering projects which provide direct benefit to patients.

As part of the 2012 programme, St Luke’s Hospice in Harrow was awarded £40,000 to recruit and train volunteers to support patients and families in their own homes.   

For patients that live alone, volunteers can supplement a hospice at home service by providing extra visits with the likelihood that those patients will remain at home for longer and avoid hospital admissions.

St Luke’s Director of Patient Services explains how the funding helped improve care:

“This grant has had a direct impact upon St Luke’s ability to support people at home enabling them often to stay there longer than would otherwise be possible. It allows our team of specialist nurses and carers to develop and deliver bespoke packages of care that meet the needs of the patient and those important to them.

“Being a carer is hard work and we know families want to provide this care to their loved ones. Our services, and this initiative in particular, allow family members to maintain the caring role by providing periods of respite enabling them to take time out, a breathing space, that helps them carry on.”

Trusts Fundraiser Amanda Ziegler explains how the hospice was able to learn and adapt as the project developed:

“A key learning point identified was that volunteers could be recruited and trained to provide social aspects of care in patients’ homes whereas the recruitment of volunteers to provide more ‘hands on’ bedside care proved more difficult. The project was slightly adapted to reflect this.”

As part of the evaluation of the service, the hospice gathered feedback from patients and their families. One family member commented:

“I wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for the wonderful care you gave to my husband during the last few weeks of his life… I am sure that I would not have coped so well without the support of your service.”

How to apply

Help the Hospices is managing the grants programme on behalf of St. James’s Place Foundation, and further details can be found on Help the Hospices website.

The deadline for applications is 1 September 2014.

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