Rennie Grove’s Hospice at Home figures hit record high in lockdown

Clare Ghey is part of Rennie Grove's Hospice at Home team.

Clare Ghey is part of Rennie Grove's Hospice at Home team. - Credit: Archant

Rennie Grove Hospice Care is now caring for more patients than ever before through its hospice at home service, which has continued to offer specialist care to local families throughout the lockdown period.

In the course of caring for a record 600 patients, the hospice at home nurses working in west Herts and Bucks made 2,586 visits to patients at home, day and night, during the period from March 23 to May 31.

They also supported this hands on nursing care with 15,609 hours of phone calls, providing advice to patients and families and liaising with other healthcare professionals and agencies to ensure patients received the medication, equipment and support they needed.

Judith Moore, head of nursing and patient services in Herts said: “Lockdown has been a challenging time for our nurses. Not only have they faced unprecedented demand with caseload figures increasing, particularly in the St Albans and Harpenden area, they have also been coping with a higher than usual number of deaths.

“Testing for COVID-19 has been unavailable to those in community settings until recently, so it is impossible to say if this is Covid related, but it is in line with national statistics.”

Despite seeing a 29 per cent increase in demand since the same period last year, the charity has still ensured that those they care for have the choice to stay at home, with 95 per cent of patients who wanted to die at home being able to achieve their wish.

Judith added: “Our aim is to give local people choice as they near the end of life and I am immensely proud of our nurses for working so hard to make sure this continues. We know that lockdown has not been easy for anyone, but it’s been especially hard for our patients who have been unable to see extended family and friends which is doubly hard when they know their time is short.

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“With hospital and GP appointments also stopping or going virtual, the fact that our nurses have carried on visiting has been so important to them and we have been privileged to be there.”

You can help ensure Rennie Grove can continue to provide this vital care at