Saint Michael’s Hospice currently helps more than 2000 local people each year.
But those at the organisation know that its capacity will need to expand if it is to help meet the needs of an ageing population, where more people are living longer with complex illnesses and where demand for our services is set to increase.
To help with this, the hospice has launched a new community hub - Saint Michael’s@Starbeck - to help bring some of the vital services it offers at Hornbeam Park to those who need it.
The hub is based at the former library on The Avenue, with purchase of this building and costs to renovate it into a fit for purpose space majority funded through a grant from the Department of Health and grant giving trusts and foundations.
It costs £4.4 million to run Saint Michael’s services, both at Hornbeam Park and at its community services, such as Saint Michael’s@Starbeck.
Saint Michael’s receives £889,000 from the NHS towards these costs, and the remainder is raised through the support of the local community.
Saint Michael’s Chief Executive Tony Collins said: “We know that more people are living longer with complex illnesses, which means the demand for Saint Michael’s services is set to increase.
“The launch of Saint Michael’s@Starbeck signifies our commitment to respond to this growing need, furthering our strategic vision to help more local people living with terminal illness to get the care and support they need, closer to home.
“At Saint Michael’s we believe that a hospice is not simply a building, but a way of caring for people. During National Hospice Care Week, we officially opened the doors of the former Starbeck library, showcasing the services operating from the newly refurbished building and celebrating the strides we are making to bring hospice care to wherever our patients call home.”
The hub will facilitate the delivery of care at home through the Saint Michael’s Macmillan Nurses, a team which is run, managed and mainly funded by Saint Michael’s Hospice.
Team Leader Annette Clark said: “Because we work wherever people need our support, our referrals take us right across the district; using Saint Michael’s@Starbeck as a base is really streamlining the way we work, meaning day to day we can help even more people affected by serious illness.
“Patients are often referred to us when the needs of their illness become more complex, and the space means we can offer a relaxed and reassuring environment to discuss the support available to help people to live as active and full a life for as long as possible.
“Supporting family members and carers as they learn to cope with the illness of their loved one is a key part of our role. Saint Michael’s@Starbeck offers a calm and confidential space for patients, carers and family members to meet with a Saint Michael’s Nurse and access information and advice to help them understand and overcome the challenges their illness may bring.”
The Starbeck base will enhance access to care across the area in patients own homes, care homes and hospital by enabling local people to receive support from a number of Saint Michael’s professionals, including Motor Neurone Disease Specialist, Kate Adams.
Kate explained how Saint Michael’s@Starbeck gives people living with terminal illness more choice in their preferred place of support: “We know how important it is to personalise our care to meet the needs of the individual patient, and a big part of this is offering support in a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment.
“As a Motor Neurone Disease (MND) specialist I see people following their diagnosis to offer information and support, and answer any questions the patient may have about overcoming challenges associated with MND.
“From this point I work to ensure that people receive tailored care, responsive to their individual needs, supporting and guiding them as their illness progresses.
“Personalising the support we offer means that I see patients at our hospice at Crimple House, in hospital, in their own homes and in care homes.
Our new community base, Saint Michael’s@Starbeck, means I’m able to offer patients and their families even more choice in where they have their consultation.”
Terry Marsh has been a Volunteer Visitor for two years.
He said: “Being a Volunteer Visitor gives you the opportunity to try, in some small way, to alleviate feelings of isolation or uncertainty that patients living with terminal illness can experience, together with providing rest and reassurance for carers and family.
““Some of us see our patients for a few short weeks, other for many months. We develop friendships and trust, and are fortunate to meet some remarkable people. I started the role with the aim of doing something for others, and in fact have found that the gain is very much two-way.”
Saint Michael’s@Starbeck will offer bereavement support and counselling sessions through Saint Michael’s Just ‘B’ and Talking Spaces services.
Senior Bereavement Support Worker, Megan Itson, said: “We are passionate about creating a community where all grieving children, young people and adults get the support they need to understand and cope with their bereavement.
Senior Bereavement Support Worker, Clare Godden, said: “We have been aware for some time that many of our clients have more complex stories, and we have responded to these emotional and psychological needs by extending the reach and scope of the services we can offer.
“Saint Michael’s@Starbeck is a fantastic step in bringing this support to the heart of local communities.”
Contact Saint Michael’s@Starbeck Call: 01423814 480