End-of-life nursing service launched in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 13:26 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:08 05 April 2019

Pictured at the launch of the Axminster Hospicecare@Home service are (l to r)  Mary Ashby, Ann Rhys, Geoff Pringle, Dr Phil Taylor and Dr Mark Welland. Picture: SEAN

Pictured at the launch of the Axminster Hospicecare@Home service are (l to r) Mary Ashby, Ann Rhys, Geoff Pringle, Dr Phil Taylor and Dr Mark Welland. Picture: SEAN

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Hospiscare nurses will be based at Axminster Hospital and be available 24/7

Axminster’s new end-of-life nursing service has been launched at a ceremony in The Guildhall.

The Hospicecare@Home service will operate in the town and the surrounding villages.

It means the residents will now have the same service as Seaton has enjoyed for at least the last three years.

The League of Friends of Axminster Hospital is funding the service in its area and, although members know a lot of fundraising is required to run it, they are confident they will be able to maintain the service for some time to come with the help of the local community.

Around 90 people attended the launch party and a cream tea was provided by Connie Meaker and her tireless team of supporters.

League of Friends chairman Dr Phil Taylor told the gathering about the benefits the new service would bring to Axminster while Ann Rhys, of Hospicare, explained how it is run.

Hospiscare senior nurse Mary Ashby outlined the work the nurses do and Dr Mark Welland, chairman of Seaton League of Friends, described the benefits that have been seen in Seaton and district from the service.

The most important aspect of the service is that people nearing the end of their lives will have care available in their own homes among their loved ones.

The nursing team for the area is based in Axminster Hospital and is available 24/7.

All patients and families referred by their GP will have a direct line number for contacting the team.

All patients will be referred by the GP or medical professional to Hospiscare who will then establish links with the patient, family and carers.

Geoff Pringle, chairman of trustees of Hospiscare, acted as master of ceremonies on the day and gave a short history of Hospiscare in Exeter and East Devon.

A second event is planned following the League of Friends’ annual general meeting which takes place on Friday, June 28. The AGM will be extended to include refreshments and officials will again outline how the service works and how people can benefit from it.

* Hospiscare Devon launched in 1982 with just two community nurses and massive community support which continues today. The charity was started by Dr John Searle when he moved to Exeter and worked with the Bishop of Crediton to initiate a local hospice service.

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