Help more people be at home in their final days

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A message from Helen Davidson, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Wilfrid's

Home. It’s where the heart is (so they say). It’s where we feel safe. Comfortable. And it’s where most people tell us they would like to be when they die.

As the Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, I have the honour of helping hundreds of patients every year to be at home when they die, surrounded by the things and people they love.

My team of Clinical Nurse Specialists are often the first people from St Wilfrid’s that a patient will meet. It can be a scary time for someone who is facing a terminal prognosis, but we visit them at home to talk things through, reassure them and find out what they want or need from us. The care we offer is then tailored to their needs.

If someone wants to die at home, or in a nursing home, we help them do that; by providing equipment, sorting out referrals to the district nurses, liaising with the GP, and making sure they and those caring for them have 24/7 support from our Nurse Line. We might also provide practical hands-on care through our Care at Home Team. And the nurses in our Community Team will make regular visits to monitor symptoms and medication.

Last year our community team made over 6,300 visits and cared for over 1,300 patients, supporting them when they needed us most. This year we will see even more patients, and we need your help to reach them. Could you make a donation to help people be at home at the end of their lives?

Line drawing of a rose, a dog, a couple sitting down and a house.
Nurse talking to patient in their home

"Mark was at home, just where he wanted to be"

"On the day Mark died, his eyes came alive like the bluest blue. We were playing his favourite song, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and as soon as Mark heard it, he put his arms out, opened his eyes wide, smiled the biggest smile and took his last breath. Mark was at home, just where he wanted to be, and that was made possible by the generous supporters of St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

I felt so supported by St Wilfrid's Hospice. The hospice’s 24-hour Nurse Line became my lifeline because seeing Mark in pain and feeling anxious, and my having to administer morphine to him, was difficult. I wasn't sleeping and was worried I would get the doses mixed up. The Care at Home Team gave me the reassurance that they were not just looking after him, but they were looking after me too and taking me through the stages. And I still remember their kindness to this day.

I hope that people reading this will consider donating to St Wilfrid’s to ensure more local people can get the support they need at the most difficult time of their lives." Debbie

Your support makes all the difference

The local community provides 70% of our funding, and with rising costs it is a struggle for the hospice to ensure that we can provide patients with our expert care in the comfort of their own homes. Times are hard for many; whatever you are able to give, your gift could make all the difference to patients who would like to spend their final days at home, and we are extremely grateful.

£25 could be enough to provide reassurance to someone making difficult decisions about their end of life care by covering the cost of a first visit from the St Wilfrid's team.

£42 could help us to reach patients by keeping our car on the road for a morning.

£63 could help someone avoid a hospital admission by providing the gloves, masks, cannulas and catheters we need to care for them at home.

Two women from Community Care Team in car
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