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Hospiscare expands home service

Image: Lene Langley

Now available in Mid & West Devon, plus Dartmoor

A Devon hospice is expanding its successful ‘Hospiscare at Home’ service to help more terminally ill patients receive specialist care in their own homes in their last days of life.

The much-requested service will be rolled out around Crediton and Okehampton and in parts of North Dartmoor amid calls for greater patient choice and unprecedented pressure on existing health services.

The specialist service is designed to support patients and their families and carers who need expert end-of-life care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the last weeks of life, and to enable them to die peacefully and with dignity at home.

Tina Naldrett, Clinical Director at Hospiscare, said: “By expanding our Hospiscare at Home service into the areas around Crediton, Okehampton and North Dartmoor, we will transform the last weeks of life for hundreds of patients and families living in rural areas who are in the last stages of terminal illnesses.

“This will enable patients to die with dignity and peace in the place of their choice and means that patients and their loved ones can make the most of their final days together, which we know can have long-lasting benefits for grieving families. The service will also relieve pressure on our local hospitals and emergency health services.”

Hospiscare at Home is already available to patients in the Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton areas. With this expansion, the service will be available to patients registered with a GP in Crediton, Okehampton and the surrounding villages and in areas of North Dartmoor.

As a charity, Hospiscare faced a drastic drop in income during the pandemic due to the cancellations of fundraising activities and the closure of its 19 charity shops – just as the hospice saw a huge increase in the need for its award-winning service.

In response to these difficulties, local communities throughout Devon rallied to the cause and have helped the hospice to partially close its funding gap.

At the same time, a small number of donors made generous gifts specifically to enable the expansion of Hospiscare at Home into the areas around Okehampton and Crediton in response to research into the benefits of dying at home.

Hospiscare’s CEO, Andrew Randall, said: “We are indebted to the local communities and local people who make it possible for us to provide our expert end-of-life care to people living with terminal illnesses across over 1,000 square miles of Devon. Hospiscare has been providing our care to the people of Devon for four decades and we are proud and honoured to be able to now help more people when they need it most, thanks to the generosity and kindness of our community.”

The new service will employ a team of nurses and healthcare workers, based in hubs in Okehampton and Crediton, and will support up to 150 patients and families a year. The service commenced in an initial development phase in April 2022 and aims to provide 24/7 care 365 days a year from summer 2022.

To refer patients to the service, please see this website or call 01392 688040.

Local people in need can access hospice services via their GP, hospital or NHS community nursing team.

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