10 August 2016

Crucial care funded for a year

Rennie Grove Hospice Care has secured funding to recruit another HealthcareColin Clarkson, Chrissie Goldsmith, Sarah Westall Assistant (HCA) to its hospice at home nursing teams thanks to grant-making charity The ACT Foundation, which has given a generous £25,000 to fund an HCA salary for 12 months. 

Run by a group of property experts with a portfolio of commercially let buildings, ACT uses the profits generated by its rental income to ‘make people’s lives better’.  Giving away millions of pounds each year, the Foundation improves the lives of children with physical disabilities and learning difficulties, and helps to ensure people of all ages have a better quality of life, whatever challenges they are facing.

Trustee Colin Clarkson visited Rennie Grove’s Tring office to meet HCA Sarah Westall and hear more about the role.  He said of himself and his ACT colleagues: “We’ve all been retired at least once but we do this because we enjoy it and by dint of our combined knowledge of the property industry and some occasional hard work we’ve been able to make a success of it.  It gives us great pleasure to give money away!”

HCAs support the charity’s nurses by providing personal care for patients who need additional help.  They can make the difference between a patient being able to come home where they can access Rennie Grove’s 24/7 specialist nursing care - or having to stay in hospital because they don’t have sufficient support.  HCA Sarah Westall explains: “If a patient doesn’t yet need - or is nervous of signing up to - an agency care package, we can provide a stop gap.  Our weekly visits can help them settle back in at home and give them the confidence, either to live independently or to take on a complete care package if their condition deteriorates.” 

As well as providing personal care, HCAs help patients and carers complete forms to access resources such as the blue badge for disabled parking.  They also offer support visits for patients whose condition is stable and can feedback any changes or concerns to nursing colleagues. 

Director of Nursing & Clinical Services, Sue Varvel, said:  “HCAs are becoming a crucial part of the 24/7 responsive service we offer.  Their scheduled visits to stable patients free up our hospice at home nurses to support patients with more urgent and complex nursing needs.  We are hugely grateful to The ACT Foundation for funding this new HCA post, which will enable us to reach more families who need our care.”