My experience of St Richard’s Hospice

4th October 2018

By Trisha Hutchison

Having a life-limiting condition, I feel privileged and blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend Day Hospice at St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester, for 12 weeks.

On Thursday mornings I am picked up from home and returned at the end of the day. I share Thursdays with about 10 others with similar conditions.

There is, however, a large re-building taking place in order for the hospice to provide Day Hospice care for many more.

Having been a do-er all my life, I find it difficult to adjust and accept my limitations, and I get upset, cross and frustrated that I can no longer function as I wish.

There are times of anguish, crying myself to sleep, feeling I no longer have a part to play or even to serve. I feel useless, full of self-pity. Sometimes I just want to die.

The other patients with similar conditions, staff and volunteers who share the day with me show such courage and such a positive approach that it helps me realise that I am one among many who, as life is coming to an end, need to accept the help which is available, informative and so generously given, and where I am made to feel I still do have value.

The Day Hospice provides: a doctor, nursing staff, a physiotherapist, a chaplain and numerous trained volunters who attend to the needs and requests of those who are present.

Available are sessions are: T’ai Chi, reflexology, art and craft, massage, hair dressing and so on – with a quiet time after lunch with the chaplain. These sessions are available, but there is no pressure to go to any. Lunch and refreshments are provided and lunch is first class with a selective menu and is much enjoyed by all.

It is a busy day but there is a pervading sense of quiet, peace and tranquility where I feel valued and cared for; where I am able to share my problems, worries, concerns and also my joys.

There is sharing with the others like me, with staff and volunteers and there is often laughter and a sense of fun and sometimes shed a tear.

I will miss my Thursdays spent there when my sessions end but there are many others who need this wonderful experience.

I also know the hospice will monitor my life with homes visits and an assessment of my needs. It will also provide hospice support for my family when my needs cease.

The hospice has a small grant from the NHS but is largely dependent on fundraising and donations.

In today’s climate, such provision that is given is costly – but there is no pressure put on those of us who receive such valuable care to fund in any way.

Nothing seems to be too much to ask for, whether from staff or volunteers and I am so grateful for the ministry I receive there.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.