Ayrshire Hospice are determined to be fit for the future ahead

Dr Elliott with the newly elected chair Sheena Cochrane
Dr Elliott with the newly elected chair Sheena Cochrane

Ayrshire Hospice has published Fit for the Future, it’s annual overview reporting on figures from April 2014-March 2015.

The publication shows that the hospice received 1136 referrals last year from across Ayrshire with 496 coming from South Ayrshire.

Of those referrals 225 of were admitted to the in-patient unit.

113 were discharged from the in-patient unit.

2,536 day service places were allocated and 4,279 visits were made to patients in the community.

798 referrals were made to the hospital palliative care team and 2746 review visits were made by the hospital palliative care team.

Mandy Yule, Chief Executive of the Ayrshire Hospice comments: “Fit for the future is an apt title for this year’s overview, as much of 2014/15 was spent reviewing and consolidating our services, researching and ensuring that we have a clear understanding of the landscape before us and considering how we can best serve the people of Ayrshire in years to come.

“Indeed, our fit for the future focus will continue into 2016 as we progress our accommodation review, ensuring our facilities meet our space requirements and that our accommodation allows us to enhance the services we provide now and into the future.

“A pay and benefits review will also ensure the hospice remains financially sustainable going forward, offering sector-comparable terms and conditions to our staff that are fair and equitable, whilst also acknowledging and rewarding their valuable skills, experience and knowledge.

“As a charity it is vital that we live within our means and that we spend our income wisely.

“We must guarantee our partners and supporters value for money and must look to maximise current valuable resources - helping to safe guard and improve the quality of our services, whilst remaining an employer of choice”.

Nationally, the number of patients needing high quality, palliative and end of life care has beengrowing.

“The Ayrshire Hospice now cares for many hundreds of patients per year.

Society is ageing and the consequences for health and social care systems are significant.

In partnership with the University of the West of Scotland, and the three Ayrshire Health and Social Care partnerships, the hospice will continue to look for and implement adaptable, new ways of caring and find innovative ways of working.

The hospice aims to reach out to the Ayrshire community, build resilience and flexible skills that will provide excellent care and support fit for the future, delivered where patients and families want it, when they need it.

Mandy Yule states: “We are confident that through our programme of review, ambition, partnership working, adaptability and community focus, we will be able to continue to deliver the free, excellent, person-centred care and services for which we are renowned and so privileged to provide.

“By making today matter, we are determined to be fit for the future.”

During 2014-15, it cost almost £7.4million to fund all hospice services, including clinical, fundraising and support services - equating to approximately £20,000 per day. Income received was £7,361,003 including over £1million of bequests and legacies left to the hospice by people in their wills.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran provided welcome partnership funding of over £2.6million and the Ayrshire Hospice shops network generated the next highest income stream of almost £845,000.

This was closely followed by the popular hospice events programme which brought in just over £812,000.

Mandy adds: “Of course, none of what we achieved during 2014-15 would have been possible without the unswerving, fundraising support of the Ayrshire community, who provided us with over £4.3million last year in voluntary income, to help meet the running costs of the hospice.

“Their dedication allows us to continue to provide our patient-centred services, free of charge, to patients and their families across Ayrshire and we thank them for their loyalty, passion and commitment.”

Recently retired Chairman of the Ayrshire Hospice Board of Directors and signatory on the annual overview, Dr John Elliott comments: “Looking to the future, and as retiring Chair, I am delighted that the hospice Board has given unanimous support to Mrs Sheena Cochrane who has now succeeded me as Board Chair.

“Sheena knows the hospice very well having served on the board and its various governance committees since 2004.

“She brings with her a wealth of healthcare experience from her previous professional roles.

“Moreover she possesses the essential skills and, fundamentally, the right values to lead the board in fulfilling the hospice’s stated mission and in pursuit of its strategic aims and ambitions.

“I have left the hospice in very safe hands and I wish Sheena, the board directors, hospice staff and volunteers every success for the future!”

The hospice aims to reach out to the Ayrshire community, build resilience and flexible skills that will provide excellent care and support fit for the future, delivered where patients and their families want it, when they need it.

There are currently over 190 members of staff and almost 700 volunteers who deliver outstanding hospice care to patients with life-limiting illness, and their families across Ayrshire.

Without them the service would just not be possible.

The carers’ café associated to the hospice celebrated it’s first birthday recently and is going from strength to strength.

Since the café was launched during Hospice Care Week in 2014, they have welcomed over 60 people, with many carers attending the café on a regular basis.

They even have a couple of very loyal attendees who have come every week since day one!

Open every Friday, from 2-4pm, the café is very informal and provides carers with an opportunity to meet others who are caring, have a chat and share the wide range of emotions experienced when caring for someone.

Every fortnight they have a 30 minute relaxation session, providing carers with a real opportunity to switch off just for a wee while; snoring is even rumoured to happen on occasion!

They have also recently started a carers’ walking group “Sole Mates” on the last Friday of every month giving carers who want to, the opportunity to walk and talk.

As part of raising awareness of the café and their respite and response service, they are in the process of making some short films.

The hospice recognise it can be daunting to come along to the café for the first time, some people have said they weren’t very sure of what to expect.

They hope the DVD will help to allay fears and give people a little taster of what the Friday carers’ café is all about.

For the past few years Glenapp Castle has added 50p per person onto each guest’s dinner account.

This has so far raised the hospice £5,000 which will make such a difference to the staff and patients.

The Hospice Christmas shop has opened on Kyle Street, Ayr (across from Debenhams) and showcases their new Christmas card range including 70 beautiful Christmas card designs, as well as the 2016 Ayrshire Hospice calendar.

Full to the brim with Christmas decorations, festive ornaments, wrapping paper, gift tags, toys and lots of wonderful Christmas gifts, the new shop has all you need to start your Christmas shopping, it even includes Christmas party dresses from the recent pop-up boutique.

Regular opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am–4pm.

All the hospice shops now have a selection of cards and the calendar available but if you can’t make it to one of them you can always buy online at http:// ayrshirehospice.merlintickets. co.uk so you don’t miss out.

Thank you to all the individuals and organisations that have taken a terramundi money pot to fundraise in aid of the hospice in 2015.

Please remember that the deadline to return all terramundi pots is January 29 2016, however if you can manage to return it before then, great!

Once you have filled the terramundi pot, please return it to the fundraising office, 29 Miller Road, Ayr KA7 2AX. For more information please contact the fundraising team on 01292 288488 or email community@ ayrshirehospice.org