£50k boost for end-of-life care in Ottery St Mary

Ottery Hospital League of Friends members Paul Ritchie, Adrian Rutter and David Roberts with Ann Rhy

Ottery Hospital League of Friends members Paul Ritchie, Adrian Rutter and David Roberts with Ann Rhys, Hospiscare’s deputy director of nursing and care Picture: Katie Chantler - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends has pledged a massive £50,000 during the past year to support Hospiscare’s vision to provide specialist end-of-life care in the community.

The money has been used to support Hospiscare's community work in the town by funding three vital services: a community nurse specialist, nurse-led clinics at Ottery Hospital and the development of new education sessions on end-of-life care for other health professionals.

League of Friends (LoF) chairman, Adrian Rutter, said: "Ottery Hospital Friends work closely with local GPs and the RD&E, who both agree that end-of-life care is a priority for the community. The Friends are delighted to work with Hospiscare as a trusted partner that shares the same vision."

Racel Willmott, an advanced nurse practitioner at Hospiscare, whose role has been funded by Ottery LoF's generous donation, said: "The generous donation has made a big impact on patient care in Ottery."

"This has enabled us to use the Ottery Hospital site to run nurse-led clinics where patients are invited to attend for assessment and support. This offers choice to patients who might otherwise have been seen at home. It also offers an earlier introduction to the many services we provide and helps us build relationships and find out how best we can support people in the community."

Ann Rhys, deputy director of nursing and care at Hospiscare, said: "The introduction of nurse-led clinics into our specialist palliative care team is invaluable. A nurse-led clinic is a gentle, non-intrusive introduction for patients in their place of choice. It is our aim to be able to offer patients choice about their care and where they are seen."

The education sessions funded by Ottery LoF's donation has allowed healthcare assistants from a range of teams, including urgent care and local residential teams, to benefit from Hospiscare's expert knowledge of palliative care. Feedback from those attending the sessions has been extremely positive with one attendee saying: "I was reassured and learnt how to address difficult questions such as 'Am I going to die?'"

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The financial support from Ottery LoF has also meant the Hospiscare team has built strong relationships with local district nurses and GPs through their increased presence in the community.