We are a community nurse-led service working in partnership with Primary Heathcare teams, Social Services, hospitals and other voluntary organisations. There is a range of services available, tailored and delivered to meet the individual’s needs. We offer friendship, empathy and a safe place to talk about fears and hopes for the future, whether in the Hospice’s welcoming and comfortable surroundings or in someone’s own home. Our services include:
- Day Hospice
- Therapeutic Clinics
- Lymphoedema care
- Complementary therapies
- Carer Support
- Bereavement service
- Hospice at Home
There are two day hospices, one in Alnwick and one in Berwick, which both offer care and support in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Patients are offered professional support and advice from the nursing team who are supported by volunteers. Whilst the nursing team addresses the patient’s clinical need, such as emotional support, symptom control and nursing care, volunteers provide transport, serve meals and drinks, and activities such as arts and crafts. Complementary therapies are also available, including massage and relaxation, as well as peer support for patients. Whilst patients are cared for at the day hospice, carers are given the opportunity of some respite.
Berwick Centre, main patient room
Alnwick Centre, main patient room
Quiet patient room
Patients, families and carers can also access services on an appointment basis, if they prefer, as well as having the opportunity to drop in for a coffee and a chat. A programme of care and support is tailored to meet the needs of the individual and other professionals can be accessed such as a physiotherapist, Macmillan benefit advisers for financial advice, a lymphoedema nurse specialist, complementary therapist, and cognitive behaviour hypnotherapist. HospiceCare aims to help patients and carers to maintain a sense of well being and quality of life, whilst they adapt to their illness.
HospiceCare provides treatments for advanced lymphoedema and is the only service available North of Newcastle. Lymphoedema is a swelling caused by failure or damage to the lymphatic system somewhere in the body. HospiceCare's service gives patients a programme of care and advice on skin care, self massage and exercises which will help their condition. Some patients require compression garments and more intensive treatment, such as a course of specialist massage and bandaging to reduce the swelling. As swelling can cause considerable physical and psychological distress, a very important part of the service involves listening to and discussing the patient’s worries and concerns.
Complementary Therapies are natural therapies which can be used in conjunction with orthodox medicine and nursing care. The HospiceCare North Northumberland offers:
All our complementary therapists work to agreed standards which have been drawn up by HospiceCare North Northumberland. Our therapists have all gained a recognised qualification in the therapy, which they offer. They have a professional Code of Practice to which they adhere.
We offer carers' support on an appointment basis. These appointments offer an opportunity for discussion with a member of our clinical team to give assistance with coping strategies and information. They are offered to anyone caring for relatives with a life limiting disease. Complementary Therapy can be provided by appointment. We can arrange for someone to sit with your relative whilst you attend the support appointment if this is needed or you may wish to attend with your relative.
Our Bereavement Support Service is open to all, including those who have not had any previous contact with the Hospice. The service is delivered by trained and skilled volunteers who have a knowledge and understanding of the physical and emotional pain which people experience when grieving. The volunteers are not trained counsellors but provide a supportive "listening ear" either in someone's home or at the Hospice as a one to one appointment. The number of appointments and the length of time offered is matched to each person's individual need.
Hospice at Home
Our Hospice at Home service provides care and support to patients and their families in their own homes. The Hospice at Home team, who dedicate themselves to providing this service, are skilled and experienced Health Care Assistants who work in partnership with other health and social care providers such as PACH (Palliative Care at Home), District Nurses, family Doctors, Oncologists, Social Services and other care agencies to provide the essential care and support needed to help people stay in the comfort of their own home.
The timing of care and support delivered is tailored around the needs of the patient and family/carer putting those who matter at the centre of what we do. So if a carer needs to have a decent night's sleep support is provided overnight, or during the day giving the carer "their" time to go out and do what they want to do. Hospice at Home is also very much about supporting those who wish to die at home. This might involve providing the care at short notice to facilitate rapid discharge from hospital, as well as being there when a patient's condition begins to deteriorate.
Our professional Hospice at Home team is supported by volunteers who also play a valuable role by providing complementary therapies in the home or simply being with the patient whilst their carer goes shopping or to the hairdresser.
Patient's and families stories
“The speed to which you responded to our needs was tremendous. It was a lifeline to us both and I especially appreciate the support you gave me in allowing my weekend breaks. Thank you”.
“Thank you for all your help and support, especially to those who organised carers and those who came to care, either during the day or at night. It was wonderful to be able to relax (a little!) and get some much needed sleep.
We looked forward to the carers coming and felt they were our friends as well carers. I realize that it is not easy to go in to a home where there is illness and stress, but all of you carers achieved this with professionalism and patience. All of the carers were cheerful, gentle, caring, kind and considerate, and it was always a joy to have them.
God bless you all for the service you give to our local community”.
“In particular the fact that you were able to care for me in our home was great, as it is not easy walking in bandages! Many, many thanks.”
“I am writing to thank you and all your colleagues for their kindness and dedication in the care of my wife”.
‘Hospice at Home ‘is a wonderful organization we were so lucky to have your support.”
"Coming to the Hospice for day care has given me some friendship and my wife a day off, all of the staff are excellent and listen to my needs. I look forward to coming - it is the highlight of my week."
"Sometimes it's hard to get out of bed in the morning to come to the hospice but it's worth the effort. The compassion I get from coming here is what I look forward to. My family are OK but some don't want to know about my illness , or they don't want to believe that I'm ill. I've always talked about my cancer from when I first had it because I think it might help others. People get better when they come to the Hospice - we don't all pop our clogs! It's a place for hope and we encourage each other, you have to be positive. My cancer is behaving itself at the moment and with the help of the staff at HospiceCare I am controlling it, I'm going to die of old age, not my illness."
"I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate how much you did for me and Dad. Without you I would not have had anytime to do nice things.
You always had time for me and I looked forward to our chats, you may not realise but without you I would have found life very difficult. Thank you so much, I will never forget."
"I would like to thank all the staff at the Hospice for the time you spent with my husband. Ken was driven by a volunteer from our home to the Hospice every week, he was made to feel special and it was a day he looked forward to. It was something to make him feel as if he wasn’t on the scrap heap anymore. He would always talk about the great things that had happened whilst he was at day care and it helped me to have a day to myself. Thank you again for all the help and support you gave my family, it helped us to cope."
"Just a few words to say thank you to you and the team for all your kindness and support during Paul's last few months of his illness. Help was always available and various staff members came to our home bringing their own special abilities with them, therefore helping Paul and myself cope with the sadness of knowing he was going to die. It was wonderful to be able to look after him at home, but I could not have done that without all the support given. I will be forever grateful."
My name is Alison Colledge and I have been volunteering with HospiceCare for two and a half years. I saw a notice in the local post office asking for volunteers to work at the hospice and as a former nurse, the day care side appealed to me so I gave it a go!
I really enjoyed day care but the work of HospiceCare is ever changing and the needs of the people who use the hospice is changing.
I was asked if I would like to help with the running of a clinic that has replaced day care on Wednesdays. It offers patients an opportunity to come in, perhaps have a complementary therapy, a chance to talk and of course a cup of tea!
The time I have been helping with the clinic has been very enjoyable.
My name is Judith Draper and I have been helping out at the Hospice in Alnwick for over 4 years. I do massage therapies and Reiki. The patients get so much out of these therapies and I am very glad to help, as I can fit my volunteering in easily with my private practice.
It gives me a great feeling of pleasure to think how far we have come since 1994 when our hospice was just an idea. As a founder trustee it has been a real privilege to see the service develop over the years, not to mention a lot of hard work by a large number of people! But I would not have missed any of it.
I began work as a Macmillan nurse in 1992 and it was apparent there was a need for more local palliative care services to save patients travelling to and from Newcastle.
When a district nurse colleague and myself went to a lecture early in 1994 describing the benefits of Day Hospice care we knew that we needed something like that in our area. With support from health professionals and local people a group was formed and we took our ideas to the wider community in a series of meetings.
We also had the backing of our friend Hazel Marsden from the Marsden Charitable Trust. In recognition of her generous support our hospice property in Berwick is named after Hazel.
The strength of the community support carried us on to appoint staff and volunteers to set up a service offering day care one day a week in Alnwick and Berwick. Joan Robson and
her staff and volunteers welcomed patients for the first time in October 1995. It takes a substantial amount of money, and huge team effort from our staff, volunteers and trustees to provide services working closely with existing healthcare services.
I have seen how patients, their carers and family benefit from the numerous services we provide and how in many cases patients would struggle to be cared for at home without HospiceCare's valuable support. Our Hospice at Home service has demonstrated just how we can enable patients to remain at home, if existing services are unable to offer the level of support required.
Yet as many hospices around the country are well aware without the generous support from our local communities we would not be able to provide these important services.
So a big thank you once again for your continued support, we do appreciate it.
As an increasing number of people are being treated successfully for cancer, the focus of care and support is shifting towards helping those individuals move forward emotionally and psychologically. Cancer survival begins the day of diagnosis and continues for the rest of the person’s life and although physically the cancer may no longer be present, the psychological impact can continue , particularly if the person is living with the uncertainty of whether the cancer might return.
Before a cancer diagnosis most people regard life as ‘normal’ then suddenly their world as they know it suddenly changes in often a shocking and frightening way by diagnosis of a potentially life threatening illness. Many people feel that their lives are turned upside down and out of control as their world starts revolving around hospitals and cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, it is often at the end of a person’s treatment when people start to think more deeply about what they have just been through and how it has left them feeling . People can also feel abandoned, scared and unsupported when hospital contact becomes less frequent and many ask themselves ‘who is watching over me now?’. Feelings and thoughts can become increasingly confusing as families and friends assume that all is well, the news is great and that a return to normality can take place! The person can often feel alone, depressed and anxious as they have come face to face with the possibility of death and now need to continue life in a way which accommodates the fear of the cancer returning.
HospiceCare’s Moving Forward Group has been developed to provide a supportive programme in a safe environment to help people
'living with' cancer or who have ‘survived’ cancer to begin to address their psychological and emotional well being. The Moving Forward
Group offers professional guidance alongside peer support to help people look back over their cancer journey and by discussing common
thoughts and feelings it gives individuals the foundations on which to re-build their lives and explore their 'new normality'.
For further information please ring the Hospice 01665 606515 and ask to speak to either Sue Gilbertson or Debbie Allan.