A brand-new hospice service is supporting local patients to stay in the comfort of their own home as they near the end of their life.
The Roaming Car service – launched by Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust in June 2023 provides urgent care for patients over the age of 18 who have a life-limiting illness such as, but not limited to, cancer, heart disease or lung disease.
The service runs from 10pm until 7am, seven days a week, 365 days a year, enabling a nurse and a healthcare assistant to provide nursing care; symptom management; psychological and emotional support; personal and catheter care; and verification of an expected death.
A special event took place at Matlock Town Football Club on Thursday 28th September, with dedicated hospice supporters including local residents and businesses invited to celebrate the launch of the vital new local service.
Shane O’Reilly, hospice CEO, explains: ‘We have run a successful Hospice at Home service for eight years, providing planned care, day and night, for people in their own home. We have seen the demand for this service grow but we have also seen first-hand the need for an urgent response service, to help keep people at home.
‘We know that, when given a choice, many local people would prefer to be cared for in their own home.
‘Often, patients may experience painful or distressing symptoms in the middle of the night, causing huge concern for worried loved ones, and it may take several hours to get medical support. The Better End of Life report published in 2022 demonstrated the increased rate of out-of-hours A&E visits as people near the end of life. Many of these attendances were felt to be avoidable with access to the right care. With help from our community to raise vital funds, we were able to launch the new Roaming Car service in June 2023.
‘We’d like to say a genuine and sincere thank you to our corporate supporters – Proctor Cars, NFU Mutual and Breedon Group plc – whose incredible support means that our Roaming Car is completely free of charge for the hospice to run. The Hyundai hybrid electric vehicle has been fully sponsored by the three local businesses, including all the servicing, MOT and ongoing fuel costs.’
It now costs £2million every year to keep the hospice’s services running; that’s just over £5,479 per day. The hospice receives less than 50% of its income for the Roaming Car service from the Government, and must raise over 50% through fundraising and donations. Thanks to the remarkable generosity of the local community, the care and support Blythe House and Helen’s Trust provides remains completely free of charge to local people.
To find out more, visit: www.blythe househospice.org.uk/ our-services/the-roaming-car-service