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'Support has really kept Grantham hospice going'

The St Barnabas Hospice unit in Grantham Hospital has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic to care for some of the most vulnerable in society.

The charity, which has a hospice on Barrowby Road and a unit inside Grantham Hospital, has continued to care for those living with life-limiting or terminal illnesses during the coronavirus outbreak.

But with losses of up to £1 million in fund-raising income, which is the equivalent of 20 weeks of care within its specialist inpatient unit on Nettleham Road, Lincoln, the hospice has faced significant challenges in its quest to continue to provide a service in exceptionally difficult circumstances.

St Barnabas Hospice. (32800016)
St Barnabas Hospice. (32800016)

Since April this year, Grantham’s ‘Hospice in the Hospital’ has cared for 39 people and has received 598 patient referrals for its Grantham community services team, which includes ‘Hospice at Home’ nurses, day therapy nurses who have moved their care temporarily to being home-based, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Some services have had to be adapted in line with coronavirus guidelines withGrantham Hospital now operating as a ‘green site’, meaning all departments are free of coronavirus.

Hospice patients are all tested before entry and nurses on the unit do not work elsewhere.

St Barnabas Hospice. (32800016)
St Barnabas Hospice. (32800016)

The admissions process has been streamlined to support families and healthcare professionals during what is a particularly busy and chaotic time.

Since the outbreak began, the hospice has seen a huge drop in fund-raising income that pays for most of its care. Its charity shops were forced to temporarily close during lockdown, and many fund-raising activities and events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson said: “We have worked hard to start recouping this money.

“We are truly grateful to our incredible supporters who have stuck by usand really kept us going. [Among the] wonderful people from the Grantham area who have supported us is Yvonne Chambers from Brakes, who knitted red hearts for us to give to patients and families. They spray these with aftershave or perfume of the other person so they can still smell them when they are apart.

“South Kesteven District Council donated a wonderful £787.50 to the hospice and Grantham Meres Leisure Centre donated their car park for local people to collect dragonflies dedicated to loved ones.

“Lincolnshire Co-op in Arlington Gardens, Grantham, has chosen us as their charity to support and, finally, Rob Dixon from WashCo who raised £2,047.”

The hospice still needs the help of its supporters to continue the same levels of care in the future.

For more information, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/crisis

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