It’s almost seven months since coronavirus forced us all to change how we live our everyday lives. It’s been a hugely challenging time and yet despite the lows there have also been moments of joy, laughter and positivity; and that is certainly the case here at Heart of Kent Hospice.
The whole Hospice team is adjusting to new ways of working. We’re all embracing new technologies to ensure that our care continues across all our services. With many of our 880 patients shielding or choosing to self-isolate, both phone and video conferencing is enabling our teams to stay in touch, assess patients, and respond quickly and efficiently to their needs. In July our Hospice Community Team armed with their new uniforms and PPE were able to begin essential visits to patients in the sanctuary of their own homes.
Our online Zoom Living Well classes provided to be very popular, so we’ve introduced a new three-month timetable so that patients, their carers, and family can enjoy Pilates, arts and crafts, music, and IT support.
We’re continuing to work closely with our fellow healthcare workers in the NHS and share our expertise with local care homes to support them with caring for residents who are struggling with symptoms or dying from coronavirus.
Sadly, we’re beginning to see the impact of coronavirus on local families that missed treatment or diagnosis, and referrals to our Hospice in August reached a record level.
We are committed to continuing to provide our outstanding care, free of charge to everyone who needs it.
Through the generous support of our local community, some Government support, and the welcome news in July that we could begin to re-open some of our shops, the imminent threat to our funding has thankfully eased, for now.
We’ve been humbled (and at times reduced to tears) by messages of support, gifts to the Hospice and the incredible ways that people are raising money to support us and remember the lives of a special loved one.
However, despite the imminent threat of closure easing, for now, we are still facing a significant gap in the funds we will need to raise to care for our patients and their families.