Having only been launched late last year, Cornwall Hospice Care’s Neighbourhood Hub teams are already doing some amazing work.
Last year we reported on Cornwall Hospice Care’s new community service, Neighbourhood Hubs. The Cornish charity has two, at Wadebridge and Penzance, with plans to open around six more before the end of this year. The idea is to offer support and information to people living in the community with terminal illnesses. Dawn Tame-Battell is the Director of Patient Services at Cornwall Hospice Care. She tells us: “It’s about providing the right care at the right time and in the right place. We want to help people earlier in their disease or illness, so we’re not just here at the very end, but supporting them so they can live as well as possible for as long as possible. We hope, through the hubs, to reach a further 1,000 people a year.”
The hubs opened last October, and they’re already making a difference to patients like Rex. Rex was the very first patient at the Penzance Neighbourhood Hub. He dropped into Clarence House after his sister-in-law suggested he visit. He has a long history breathing difficulties and pain in his joints and bones.
At his first appointment a lot of information was gathered and as Rex had referred himself, links were made with his GP to gain more medical detail before any treatments began. His first session was conducted at St Julia’s Hospice – nearer to his home than Penzance – by Physiotherapist Michelle Earle.
“With specific breathing exercises, pain management techniques and general advice Rex improved significantly and started managing his symptoms much better,” explains Michelle. “We also referred him on to one of our Complementary Therapists, who treated him with aromatherapy and massage and gave him specific treatments to continue at home. He began walking a little more each day, building up his exercise tolerance and independence. It was good to see him cheered by on his successes and he started planning to return to the choir he so enjoys being a part of.”
Unfortunately Rex became less well just before Christmas and developed a chest infection. At this point, he was too poorly to visit the hospice for his treatment, so the physiotherapist went to see him at home instead to offer treatment and advice about his ongoing care. Happily he made a good recovery and didn’t have to go to hospital, which he says was a real plus. “The Hub team have helped make my life so much better and were instrumental in keeping me out of hospital this time. It’s good to know the team by name and to have that personal contact. I have to say the treatments have made such a difference to me. The hub and the hospice are fantastic places with wonderful people.”