The Big Lottery Fund has given a grant of more than £170,000 to St Peter & St James Hospice to pay for a specialist nurse whose care helps patients remain in their own homes.
At the same time, the North Chailey-based hospice has received support from MP Norman Baker who has promised to help spread the word about the work of staff and volunteers during Hospice Care Week from October 7 to 13.
The £171,311 Big Lottery money over three years will fund a clinical nurse specialist to provide palliative care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses.
Hospice chief executive Colin Burgess said: “Whilst many people associate the service that we provide with the hospice building, the reality is that the majority of patients for whom our seven clinical nurse specialists provide support and care continue to live at home.”
Mr Burgess added: “In the current difficult financial climate this generous grant will assure our current and future patients in the Lewes area that we will be able to continue to meet their needs.”
Clinical nurse specialists work with patients to enable them to get the right clinical care as well as psycho-social, spiritual and therapeutic services including counselling and physio-therapy.
The role is pivotal in coordinating all hospice services, ensuring appropriate care and support and enabling more patients to die at home, if they wish to. Patients referrals have risen and patients supported by the service have increased from 440 to 541 per year.
Meanwhile, Norman Baker has pledged his support for St Peter & St James after touring the care centre. The transport minister and MP for Lewes also signed the Help the Hospices ‘Count Me In’ pledge, which is a key feature of this year’s Hospice Care Week from October 7 to 13.
Everyone who agrees to ‘count me in’ pledges to tell at least five people why hospice care counts.
Norman said, “This hospice, together with the others who serve my constituency, provides an invaluable service to those who are reaching the end of their lives. The hospice movement is a wonderful example of a service based within the community, supporting the community and supported by the community and I am pleased to add my support to this campaign.”