Ayrshire Hospice highlights what it takes to provide exceptional care

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With the support of over 500 volunteers and £4.5million in voluntary donations in the last year, the Ayrshire Hospice spotlighted “This is What it Takes” to provide exceptional hospice care during this year’s Hospice Care Week.

The awareness week, which ran from October 7-13 and the “This is what it takes” theme aims to highlight the variety of services available to patients with life-limiting illness and their families across the whole of Ayrshire, as well as the commitment and dedication shown by all staff, volunteers and supporters to ensure those exceptional services are accessible, person-centred and remain free of charge.

Valerie Richmond, support services director of the Ayrshire Hospice explains: “In this, our 30th anniversary year, it is only right that we take the time to appreciate and celebrate exactly what it takes to deliver our services and care to people with life-limiting illness.

“The loyal support shown by individuals, groups and organisations across Ayrshire over the last 30 years has been unfaltering and we are truly grateful for their contribution in making today matter”.

To mark Hospice Care Week the hospice also launched its annual overview for the period April 2018 – March 2019, demonstrating exactly what it took to deliver hospice care to the 1,428 patient referrals received from across Ayrshire last year.

Of those referrals, 324 patients were admitted to the in-patient unit with 96 able to be discharged. 240 referrals were made to hospice day services and over 3,172 visits were made to patients in the community.

The hospice Respite and Response team also made 1,560 visits to a total of 348 patients.

The report also reveals that during 2018-19 it took over £7.9million to run all hospice services, including clinical, fundraising and support services – equating to almost £22,000 per day – and an amazing £4.6million was raised through voluntary donations alone.

Valerie continued: “Hospice care is much more than looking after people at the end of life.

“They are more than just a place where people go to die. Hospices are places where people come to live life to the full, where they can be with their families and friends, where they can talk about their hopes and fears, where they can laugh and cry”.

“Hospice care takes a whole lot of love, compassion, specialist skill, dignity, respect, and an unswerving determination to always go the extra mile and make today matter.

“You will find all of these attributes and more, in bucket loads at the Ayrshire Hospice delivered each and every day by our committed team of employed and voluntary staff”.”

What else did it take during 2018-19?

· 189 employed staff and 512 volunteers

· 16 amazing corporate charity partners

· 10,100 lovingly prepared patient meals

· 1,452 cups of tea served in our drop in café

· 157 collection can venues

· 1 Healthy Working Lives Gold Award

· 14,429 hospice lottery players

· 39 Make a Will solicitors

· 330 Light up a Life concert guests

· 23 generous legacies or bequests totalling £962,070

The annual overview also spotlights some key 2018/19 hospice activities including the implementation of a clinical services review with related partnership working opportunities and the development of specialist education programmes.

Organisational sustainability plans are flagged alongside robust plans to ensure the future financial health of the hospice.

The overview also celebrates the hospice’s Healthy Working Lives Gold Award accreditation in March 2019 as well as the annual long service and academic achievement awards which saw 70 employed and voluntary staff recognised for a collective 630 years of service.