Strength through unity for St Albans’ Grove House hospice

PATIENTS in this area are fortunate to have a strong, united, forward-thinking hospice service, working in partnership with other healthcare professionals to provide a seamless service from diagnosis and throughout illness.

It was because of the partnership with Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, which began more than two years ago, that Grove House was able to begin to offer their 24/7 home nursing care to terminally ill patients in St Albans, Harpenden and Dacorum.

In those two years, the number of patients who have received the support of hospice care at homes has almost doubled.

Last year alone, over 120 local families experienced the difference that caring for a loved one at home can make at the end of life. No visiting times, no noisy wards, no problems with parking.

Instead friends and family around to support and comfort, favourite music, familiar smells – and all with the knowledge that a confident, quiet, specialist nurse was on hand to help with medication, symptom control and advice.

One family member, who used the service recently, said: “I don’t know what we would have done without the wonderful support we received from the Hospice at Home team. I could phone day or night, they never let me down. Nothing was ever too much trouble, they were calm, there was no rush or panic, they had time for us and that made all the difference.”

Working with Iain Rennie Hospice at Home and local District Nurses has enabled Grove House to deliver this level of service.

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In the words of chief executive, Robert Breakwell: “With so much best practice already embedded in our two organisations, the merged charity Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care will be providing the best model of complete hospice care in the country. Our combined strength and unified voice, together with the breadth of services we can now offer, ensures that more patients will receive extended care across a wider area.”

Acting fundraising and marketing director, Paul Parrish, explained: “We are fortunate to have a strong identity and huge local support from individuals, local organisations and business partnerships. When people experience first-hand the difference we can make to lives, they often want to support the service that has helped them most.

“Families who have had the benefit of a Hospice at Home nurse will often want to fund a nurse so that others can experience the same level of care. We continue to welcome this and all forms of financial support.”

Paul continued: “People in this area can only benefit from Grove House becoming a stronger organisation. Jointly we’re already helping over 2,000 patients every year and the demand will continue to grow year on year. We will need to raise in the region of �6 million each year to carry on helping these patients. Whether you want to fund a specific service, or the area you know best, or ideally let us decide how to use your donation, we’d love to hear from you.

“Our priority is to continue to provide the very best care for patients and families in this area. If you or someone you know has been affected by cancer or another life-limiting illness, call us and find out how we can help.”

n Grove House wishes to acknowledge the excellent existing home nursing care provided by the local District Nursing Team and Macmillan and the work that they have done in this area prior to the establishment of the IRGH Hospice at Home Service. Working in partnership, the teams will extend Hospice at Home to more local people and their families across a wider area.