Hospiscare East Devon community cluster team leader Angela Phillips talks about her role and the new day hospice.

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With the new East Devon Day Hospice due to open this summer, Hospiscare East Devon community cluster team leader Angela Phillips has been talking to the Herald about her role and how the new day hospice will benefit patients and carers.

Having worked for Hospiscare for 22 years, Angela is a recognised face in East Devon.

Part of her role as community cluster team leader involves her leading a team of five nurses, caring for patients with progressive illnesses across East Devon.

Angela said: “We run as one team across Ottery St Mary, Axminster and Honiton.

“From the nurse’s point of view, the new day hospice is going to be a really pleasant environment from which to work.

“Just having everything under the same roof - day care, therapies, and the possibility of nurse-led drop -in clinics – will bring care closer to patients.”

Lancashire born Angela’s interest in palliative care began at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in 1978.

Whilst working on the oncology unit, she glimpsed inside one of the UK’s first hospices. Angela said: “I was privileged to visit St Christopher Hospice in London and was just inspired by the holistic hospice approach”

Along with the managerial side of her role, Angela also works in a clinical capacity working closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure a well-rounded service for Hospiscare patients.

She said: “Our patients know we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet; we know their GPs and district nurses. We’re also very much part of the team based on Jerrard Wing in Honiton Hospital, and will continue to work on those links when we’re in the new day hospice.”

Having received positive feedback about the new facility, Angela explained how it will benefit patients.

She added: “The new day hospice is going to give us that quiet space to be able to see patients in appropriate facilities and pleasant surroundings.

“Also, it’s that mutual support from other patients and their families - just for patients to be able to meet people in a like-situation is beneficial, as well as having access to the lovely therapies on offer.

“Our patients have gone through multiple losses. Perhaps they used to be a member of the WI or attend art classes and miss this social interaction which they can get at a day hospice. It’s that little bit of normality in their lives; it’s brilliant.”

The Midweek Herald, Sidmouth Herald, Cranbrook Herald, and Hospiscare have joined forces to launch the East Devon Hospice Appeal to raise £250,000 to complete and run the state-of-the-art day hospice, which is to be built in Honiton.

The new day hospice will provide a patients’ lounge, assisted bathroom, therapy room, quiet room and kitchen, as well as a beautiful sensory garden.

Hospiscare received a grant of £510,000 from NHS England as well as generous pledges from its sister charities, Budleigh, Exmouth and Sidmouth Hospiscare, to bring the plans for the new day hospice to fruition.

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