St Oswald’s Hospice has been recognised for a fast and efficient response to the pandemic, allowing its lymphoedema service to reach people in their own homes.
Lymphoedema is the swelling of a person’s body, most commonly developing in the arms or legs, and affects more than 200,000 people in the UK. People who’ve had cancer treatment, an infection or injury can be affected, with secondary lymphoedema affecting two in 10 people with breast cancer.
Volunteers and staff quickly came together to reach patients across the north east as restrictions meant more care had to be delivered at home. This change allowed the hospice to support over 8000 patients with vital care.
Laura Lowther and Jill Lisle accepted the Innovation in Care Award on behalf of St Oswald’s at the Hospice UK Awards, held at the charity’s national conference in Liverpool.
Jill Lisle, Senior Sister at St Oswald’s Hospice said: “Our Lymphoedema Team, as well as other services across the Hospice, have had to hugely adapt services to meet patient needs during Covid-19. Changing our service to a much more home based model has been completely new to us and we had to quickly react to recruit new volunteers to support staff going in to patient homes.
“Without volunteer support over the last 18 months we simply wouldn’t have been able to maintain services during the pandemic. Winning the Innovation in Care Award is a fantastic recognition of all the hard work from staff and volunteers and a great boost to the team.”
At the awards ceremony, Hospice UK CEO, Tracey Bleakley said: “Congratulations to St Oswald’s Hospice on winning the Innovation in Care Award. Their dedication and commitment to providing vital hospice and end of life care has been amazing to see, and without doubt has made a huge difference to the many people who rely on their support.
“We had some incredible entries for our awards this year. In spite of a difficult 18 months, there are so many inspiring projects, people and volunteers who’ve made a huge difference in their communities by helping people get the vital care they need.
“Whether helping to raise awareness about what end of life care is, making sure everyone in the community can get help they need or supporting families through the loss of a loved one, each of our winners has made a massive difference to the care people with life-limiting conditions and their families receive.”