Ayrshire Hospice Respite and Response Service has been awarded £351,424 from The National Lottery Community Fund.
The three-year grant will support the continuation of the service currently delivered by the hospice. During 2017-18 the respite and response service made over 1400 visits to 371 patients across Ayrshire and Arran helping 97% of those patients to stay in their preferred place of care and 92% of the patients who died were able to die in the place they had chosen.
Lynne Carmichael, respite and response team manager said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in our National Lottery application. The Respite and Response Service has been running for over six years now and has been able to demonstrate, time and time again, the meaningful difference it makes to patients and families across Ayrshire who are coping with a life-limiting illness, during times that can be very difficult for everyone.
One carer reports: “Council could not activate carers at the time of discharge - took three days but still couldn’t provide help for mornings. Dad would have been in hospital an extra 3+ days if this service wasn’t available.”
The Respite and Response Service delivers a range of practical and psychological support to carers and patients with a life-limiting illness who want to die at home. Carers get much needed time out and response visits are arranged to offer additional support at times of increased need, such as a crisis or rapidly changing health.
Complementary therapies for family care givers and patients are also provided and weekly social and peer support for family care givers is available within the carers cafe to help reduce the stress, isolation and loneliness of the care givers and improve their wellbeing and resilience. By taking on more practical aspects of care (including personal care and psychological support) the team are better able to address the needs of dying patients and their families and carers.
Lynne added: “This is the second time this vital service has been successful in applying for National Lottery funding - a sure indicator that what we are doing works and is worth backing. Our team of eight care assistants and our R&R co-ordinator make a huge difference to the lives of patients and families across Ayrshire and Arran each and every day and I am delighted that the impact of their hard work is being recognised and supported in this way.”
The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that the Ayrshire Hospice has been successful in securing a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Respite and Response team every success as they go on to develop and expand their project for the benefit of their local community.”