12th November 2015

10 things you might not know about St Richard’s Hospice

Many people who visit St Richard’s or hear a talk about our services are surprised at the wide range of support we offer patients and their loved ones. Here are a few facts and figures about our hospice, some of which might just surprise you!

1. All of our services are completely free to patients and their families. We are able to provide compassionate care for patients with life-threatening illnesses and support their families thanks to the generous support of the community through regular giving, fundraising, hospices lottery and donating or buying pre-loved items in our shops. Only 25% of our income comes from the NHS.

2. Many people think that a hospice is a place where you go to die, but in fact the majority of our patients are cared for at home, where we help them to manage their symptoms and care for them at home during their final days if this is their wish. Last year, our Hospice at Home team provided specialist nursing care to 489 patients.

3. Last year 303 patients stayed for 4,429 nights on the In-patient Unit, 43% of people staying for 1-7 days and 21% for 1-2 weeks. 25% of patients were discharged home where they continued to receive care and support from our community team.

4. Families are welcome to visit their loved one while they are staying in our In-patient Unit at any time of the day or night and we have had some unusual visitors, including pet dogs and horses. Our family bedroom enables families to remain close to their loved one overnight.

5. Our hospice kitchen creates delicious meals, deserts and celebration cakes. Last year we dished up around 15,000 dinners, lunches and snacks. Each year we use 57,200 tea bags, 8,760 pints of milk and 3,000 loaves of bread. A cookery group for carers who have recently been bereaved offers a chance to learn or rekindle practical cooking skills and social support.

6. 44,938 individuals and businesses are registered on our supporter database and raised £2.1million last year to help us care. We email regular update newsletters to keep supporters informed about the difference their contributions make to our patients and families, and invite them to upcoming events.

7. Each week, over 44,000 items of donated clothing, books and household items are sorted by our warehouse team and chain of 18 shops process 6,000 customer transactions.

8. We offer bereavement support to families for as long as they need us. On average our family support team receive 140 referrals for support each month for counselling, social work, CAB advice, and bereavement and group support for children and adults. Last year, 1,364 individuals were supported by our Family Support Team and our Dragonfly Group offered specialist care and social support to 46 bereaved children and young people and their parent.

9. Our care is underpinned by a dedicated army of over 1,000 volunteers. Last year, volunteers donated 146,172 hours of time, equivalent to saving the charity £1,060,988 on salaries (based on minimum wage). During the last year, 72 new volunteers joined our dedicated and skilled team, working in our shops, administrative functions and patient services.

10. Our chaplain service offers non-denominational spiritual support for people of any or no religion. Our Sacred Space offers patients and visitors time out to reflect, light a candle or say a prayer. Each month, 1,000 tea light candles are lit in our Sacred Space.