Cornwall Living 2018

Community collaboration

We catch up with Paul Brinsley, Chief Executive of charity Cornwall Hospice Care, who is reaching out to the Cornish community for support.

Paul Brinsley, Chief Executive of Cornish charity Cornwall Hospice Care, is on a mission. “I’m keen to spread the word about the wide range of care we provide,” he explains to us, “and that’s where I hope you, the community of our county, can help.”

At the heart of the charity are the two hospices, Mount Edgcumbe in St Austell and St Julia’s in Hayle, providing 16 intensive care beds. Some patients come in to stay whilst Cornwall Hospice Care’s medical teams get control of the difficult symptoms they’re experiencing. Some are with the hospice at the end of their lives. “Our reach, however, extends much further,” continues Paul, “and it’s important that we tell you about the other things we do thanks to the support of the Cornish community. We run a 24/7 advice line for other healthcare professionals who need support and guidance from our clinical teams. This includes advice to out-of-hours NHS doctors. Our charity has Clinical Nurse Specialists who offer non-medical treatment for a condition called Lymphoedema, a swelling associated with cancer. Between them they fulfil nearly 2,000 appointments a year.”

Cornwall Hospice Care’s medical consultants (employed directly by the charity, not the NHS) run a weekly pain clinic at the main acute hospital at Treliske and are part of the multi-disciplinary team there, assessing and supporting patients who may never come to either of the hospices. They also work with the community nursing teams and with carers. “Our charity is committed to training the doctors, nurses and carers of the future and to this end we have a contract with the University of Exeter for medical education.”

As Paul explains to us, this year the charity is planning to extend its reach into the community, trialling clinics that will be easily accessible in local towns and villages. “We want to ensure people have the opportunity to benefit from conversations early in their diagnosis so they can live as well as possible and make the most of their precious time. We achieve all this despite receiving a very small amount of government funding and have to raise over £8 million annually in the community.”

This is where you can play an important role. “I would ask two things; please do kindly pass on the word about the reach our charity has and if at all possible consider fundraising for us.” If you would like to donate to or otherwise support Cornwall Hospice Care, contact the team now to see how you can make a real difference to people’s lives, right here in Cornwall.


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This month’s features