Cornwall LivingIssue #100

It’s all about the beds

Healthcare charity, Cornwall Hospice Care is planning for the future with the support of the people from the Duchy.

Cornwall Hospice Care has kept its two hospices, Mount Edgcumbe in St Austell and St Julia’s in Hayle, open 24/7 throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, much to the relief of the 144 families facing terminal illnesses whose relatives have been admitted since March.

“We provide Cornwall with 20 end-of-life and specialist palliative care beds and I very much hope we can not only maintain this, but open more in the future,” says Gina Starnes, Clinical Director. 

“We continue to admit those patients who need our services and to support their families at a difficult time, which has been compounded by Coronavirus. Our key clinical workers have been amazing, providing specialist care and being vigilant in their own lives to protect against the virus. In keeping our hospices open we’ve been able to support our community colleagues and our wider health and social care communities in Cornwall.” 

“We have admitted more patients from the community, working with our GP colleagues, but it’s been a challenge for everyone. We’ve had to introduce strict processes to keep everyone safe from Covid and we’ve had to enforce tougher visiting rules, whilst at the same time making sure that patients and their families can be together at the end of life.” 

62 patients have been discharged during the pandemic, the majority back to their own homes. The thank you messages have been humbling. One family wrote: “It was a difficult time, more so because of the restrictions due to Covid, but it was made bearable by the wonderful team at the hospice. You all have to deal with an incredibly difficult time for patients and families, but we are in awe of your compassion, professionalism and kindness.” 

Now, Gina says, it’s about planning for the future. “We want to continue to develop our services and keep our doors open and we’ll do that by following government guidance and staying alert. It’s important we strive to keep our beds open because it’s about accessibility for any patient who needs us. However, that’s going to be a huge challenge and we’ll continue to rely on the extraordinary support of the people of Cornwall.” 

Cornwall Hospice Care
01726 839156