4th October 2018

My experience of St Richard’s Hospice

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.