Dr Kershaw’s Hospice has announced its new measures in light of the Covid-19 pandemic to continue to offer specialist, individualised, palliative and end-of-life care.
In April, the Hospice, based on Turf Lane in Royton, announced it would be temporarily closing its in-patient unit so its nurses and health-care professionals could effectively respond to the pandemic and help relieve vital areas of the National Health Service.
In addition, the layout of the Hospice has been adapted, with doctors and nurses currently working in the Well-Being Centre, art rooms and café so staff can practice government guidelines on social distancing.
The Hospice’s doctors are now working seven days a week providing a new 24/7 advice and support service to ‘Hospice at Home’ staff, GPs and community teams.
At the start of Covid-19, the Hospice recognised there would be an increased need for nurses and so launched an urgent recruitment scheme. The appeal was extremely well-received and has allowed the Hospice to recruit bank staff to assist with the increased demand in community care.
The Hospice’s quick and effective response to the pandemic has also meant the organisation is now dealing with more patients than ever before, tripling their offer across Oldham, with two teams operating day shifts and one operating at night.
The nursing teams have also been working closely with Oldham’s Community Nurses, adapting existing models of care in response to the crisis.
Joanne Sloan, CEO, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice: “Dr Kershaw’s Hospice has responded quickly and effectively to the impact the pandemic has made on our community.
“Our priority is the welfare of our patients, staff, volunteers, and the local community. We truly appreciate all the help we receive in enabling us to provide care for all our patients, their relatives, and loved ones.
“For over thirty years the people of Oldham have been supporting us. Now it is our turn to support them.
“Our community is at the heart of everything we do, and together we shall get through this pandemic.”
In addition, Dr Kershaw’s has been working to help several other local organisations, developing drug prescribing capabilities for community patients, using new electronically signed drug administration sheets and a prescribing service for care homes where commissioned services are unable to meet demand.
Its non-clinical team have swiftly adapted to the new ‘normal’, with many now working from home or adopting new roles in response to the crisis.
The Hospice’s shop workers have been re-deployed in the Hospice, helping in areas which need additional assistance. The volunteering team have been making weekly ‘friendship’ calls to offer a hand and bring in clinical support if any medical concerns are raised.
And the fundraising team has been busy setting up free, fun activities for families to do in the comfort of their homes to help pass the time during isolation.
In the coming weeks, the Hospice intends to reopen a number of beds in its In-Patient Unit, maintain newly recruited nurses and continue to offer a rapid nurse response during the night to support the Out of Hours community nursing service for patients in their own homes.
Dr Kershaw’s is a charity organisation which provides free, specialist palliative and end-of-life care for adults with life-limiting illnesses, costing £3.6million a year. Find out more or donate online: www.drkershawshospice.org.uk