Welwyn Garden City hospice featured in moving national campaign video
PUBLISHED: 14:21 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 28 March 2019
YouTube/Isabel Hospice/Hospice UK
People who receive support from Isabel Hospice in Welwyn Garden City have bravely spoken out in an emotional nationwide campaign video about how hospice work needs to reach more people.
Isabel Hospice was chosen out of hundreds of hospices nationwide to showcase the specialist care that they offer both in the hospice and in people’s homes.
The video was part of a national campaign called Open Up Hospice Care, which aimed to ensure more people can access this kind of care.
According to the campaign, 335 people per day won’t access the hospice care that they need.
One person using Isabel Hospice’s care, Barbara, said that “something had to change” after 10 years of living with pain.
“That fact that the hospice provide a safety net ... I know however bad things get now, there’s somebody there who’s going to catch me when I’m falling,” she says in the video.
She is one of several people who tell their moving stories of help from Isabel Hospice in support of the campaign.
In young mother Amy’s case, what her family had thought was a back problem was actually stage four lung cancer.
Amy’s widower Kipp said they were “blindsided” by the diagnosis.
He talked of the care they and their baby Robert received prior to her passing.
“When you go in to talk to the oncologist, that’s very clinical,” he explained.
“They’re talking to you about the disease, what course of treatments are available.
“When somebody comes into your home and they take the time to get to know you ... it wasn’t a conversation about the clinical challenges, it was a conversation about what can we do to help you live your life the way you want to.
“Without that care and people getting to know us, Robert and I wouldn’t have those positive memories [...] we were able to have a life as a family.”
An Isabel Hospice community clinical nurse specialist was also shadowed for two days to get behind the scenes of their work.
A survey has found that 72 per cent of UK adults say that support from a local hospice would make them feel more confident in supporting a loved one with a terminal condition at home.
And more than eight in ten UK adults surveyed said the role of hospices will become more important in the next decade.
Eight in ten, or 83 per cent, of those who think this, say it is due to the growing care needs of the UK’s ageing population.
Yet one in four people in the UK miss out on the care they need, according to research by Hospice UK.
This due to a range of reasons, including low rates of referral or late ones, and low levels of awareness about hospice care and where and when this support is available.
Studies also show that people from economically deprived areas, BAME (black and minority ethnic) communities and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people can experience barriers to accessing end of life care services.
Isabel Hospice says it is working to tackle this through initiatives to extend care to more people, such as expanding community services and reaching out to the different groups of people who have been missing out on vital support, including those caring for their loved ones at home.
Isabel Hospice cared for 1,555 people last year.
Robin Webb, CEO of the hospice, said: “In the last year we’ve cared for a record number of people – and as the film shows, we’ve been opening up hospice care to many more people.”
“But we won’t be able to continue these services without further support from our local communities.
“Please do make a donation or organise a fundraising event to provide care for local people.
“£12 pays for half an hour of specialist nursing care.”
In fact, a survey has also found that 17 per cent of people believe that hospices receive the majority of their funding from the NHS, which isn’t true.
WGC woman Lorna Sanson, who also features in the video, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012.
Lorna takes part in Isabel Hospice’s Feel Good Singing sessions at the Hospice Living Well Hub in Hall Grove.
She takes part in the art sessions there, and has had spells of care at the In-Patient Unit too.
In the video, the 83-year-old said: “Most people think a hospice is where you go to die.
“But in actual fact it’s a place where you learn to live again with your illnesses.”