Cornwall LivingIssue #110

This was our Covid year

More than a thousand lives were touched by Cornwall Hospice Care during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Covid-19 forced the country in to successive lock downs, Cornwall’s adult hospices remained open and admitting patients 24/7. Despite the pressures caused by the pandemic, the Cornish healthcare charity admitted 404 patients at its two hospices, Mount Edgcumbe in St Austell and St Julia’s in Hayle. The majority were referred, by medical professionals, from their own home or from Cornwall’s acute hospital, with around 40% able to return to their home or care home after receiving palliative care.

The charity was also able to offer support of a different kind, with the advice line, run by Cornwall Hospice Care in support of other healthcare professionals, receiving and dealing with a staggering 1,479 calls. Help was also offered in the form of patient and family support services such as bereavement counselling; in the 20/21 financial year this included 1,867 appointments during which 1,312 hours of support was given.

We spoke to Gina Starnes, Cornwall Hospice Care’s Director of Clinical Services; “The last year has been an extremely tough one for all health care providers and I salute our charity’s front-line staff who’ve continued to care for our terminally ill patients during the pandemic. The doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, chefs, housekeepers, maintenance team and administrators have shown extraordinary commitment and as a result we’ve continued to be there for those who need us most.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to our community services team who’ve adapted to new ways of working. Our Listening Ear service set up to support bereaved people, those needing mental and physical help or facing isolation and financial worries during the pandemic, received 222 calls, with some lasting up to an hour. Our virtual Friendship Café now has 102 members and more than 400 delegates have attended online seminars that the team have hosted. I’m humbled by this dedication in the face of such adversity.”

The pandemic also massively impacted the charity’s Neighbourhood Hubs project that offers advice and support to people in their local community. Consultations had to move from venues where people could be seen face-to-face to telephone calls, but still 161 patients and 24 carers were supported with relevant treatments being provided by Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. For more information on how you can support the continuing work of this essential service in Cornwall visit the Cornwall Hospice Care website.


Cornwall Hospice Care also supported people with Lymphoedema providing 748 hours of care to patients in 732 face to face appointments and 400 telephone appointments (a service introduced because of the pandemic).

Cornwall Hospice Care

01726 839156