19 May 2016

De-bunking the myths around Day Hospice

Rennie Grove’s Day Hospice at Grove House is just one of a dozen specialist dayNurse with a patient at Grove House services provided by the charity for local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness.  Open every Wednesday to Friday from 10.15am till 3pm, the Day Hospice is a positive and active place offering practical care and social support for local patients.

Clinical Lead Day Services, Joan Follett, explained: “We assess a patient’s needs when they are referred to us and work out a care plan tailored to those specific needs.  Our aim is to provide patients with clinical care in Day Hospice so that they can deal with any immediate issues such as pain relief or dressing wounds – but also to give them coping strategies so that they are better equipped to deal with ongoing symptoms like fatigue or breathlessness.  It means that when they are discharged they will have a better quality of life and it reduces the likelihood of symptoms escalating, which could otherwise result in them being hospitalised for an emergency intervention.”

All of Rennie Grove’s services aim to help patients live well with their condition in their own home, avoiding hospital admissions wherever possible, and Day Hospice is no exception.  Patients attend weekly for an initial period of three months, after which time their needs are reassessed.  If they are in remission or have no symptoms relating to their illness, they’ll be discharged.  “Of course they can always be re-referred at any time,” added Joan, “but often patients feel much more able to deal with any recurrence of symptoms following their initial stint with us.”

Any healthcare professional involved in a patient’s care can refer them to Rennie Grove’s Day Hospice.  Alternatively, patients can self-refer by phoning 01727 731013 or by calling into the charity’s weekly Drop-in Session at Grove House on a Tuesday between 9am and 1pm. 

In addition to clinical care, patients benefit from a nutritious cooked lunch at Day Hospice, as well as other activities designed to improve their wellbeing.  These include complementary therapies such as reflexology and reiki, art and creative activities, visiting speakers, Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs, hairdressing and manicures.  Joan added: “None of these activities is obligatory; Day Hospice is all about choice and personal, individualised support.  Often patients find the social interaction is one of the most beneficial elements of their day with us.  A diagnosis of cancer or another life-limiting illness can affect your confidence and self-esteem.  Sometimes just socialising in a safe and supportive environment with your peers can work wonders for your sense of wellbeing.”