Three local Bedfordshire hospice charities have joined forces to encourage more people to get in touch earlier to help them live life to the fullest.
“We can help you much earlier than you think” is the rallying call of Bedford Daycare Hospice, Keech Hospice Care and Sue Ryder St John’s Hospices’ ‘Your Hospice Care’ campaign, funded by the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System.
It is the first time the three hospices have united to deliver a campaign of this kind, and they hope it will see more people getting in touch earlier to access the support they need to live life to fullest following a diagnosis of a life-limiting lung condition, heart failure, cancer or neurological condition.
“I’ve been supported by the hospice since 2018,” said Paul. “I was feeling quite down and I needed help. When it was suggested that I visit the hospice, I didn’t know what to think.
“My first day was brilliant because I didn’t have to explain myself. My granddad went to the hospice six years ago when he was at the end of his life so the only part I had seen or knew of before was the inpatient unit. I had no idea any of the rest of it was there.
“They’ll do anything for you, nothing is too much trouble. I’ve received support from a social worker to help me with troubles I have had accessing benefits, received reflexology and massage treatments, enjoyed music therapy and attended physiotherapist-run groups too. The hospice is a place of hope and optimism.”
As part of the campaign, leaflets will be distributed and posts shared on Facebook directing people to a Freephone telephone number 0808 175 0810 or the website yourhospicecare.org.uk encouraging people to get in touch with their local Bedfordshire based hospice as soon as they receive a life-changing diagnosis.
With many hospitals and GP surgeries operating under increased pressure it is hoped the campaign will also help reduce numbers of people with life-limiting conditions being admitted to hospital or A&E, or having to face multiple trips to their GP to access the specialist support and care they might need.
Stephen Murphy, Clinical Lead of Bedford Daycare Hospice says many people don’t realise they can access hospice services sooner. “So many people come to us and say ‘I wish I had known about you sooner’ which is a real travesty. I hope with this campaign we won’t hear these words as often.
“The truth is hospices are all about you. We put you in control of the care and support you want to receive to achieve the things that you want to achieve. All you need to do is phone us or visit our website to find out more about ‘Your Hospice Care’.”