Donation from Freemasons helps hospice patients receive care in their homes

Steve Smirthwaite, from the Bucks Masonic Centenary ''Fund, with Jo Woolf, South Bucks Hospice's Chief Executive.
Steve Smirthwaite, from the Bucks Masonic Centenary ''Fund, with Jo Woolf, South Bucks Hospice's Chief Executive.

Patients at South Bucks Hospice now have new technology that will allow them to communicate from their homes directly with health experts.

The hospice was given a donation of £2,700 by Buckinghamshire Freemasons which has allowed them to buy 10 tablet computers and fund a programme of support over the internet.

Hospice chief executive Jo Woolf said: “We are so grateful to the Freemasons because this means our patients will be able to get the care and support they so badly need even if they cannot get in to see us at the hospice for whatever reason.

“They will be able to communicate with nurses, therapists and physios from the comfort of their homes thanks to this telecare project. Although the internet has been with us for many years, this is still a major step forward in terms of hospice care.”

South Bucks Hospice is currently trialling the scheme with a group of patients who will be ‘road testing’ the tablets during the early part of 2016.

The hospice is also working in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence for Telehealth and Assisted Living at Bucks New University to set up the necessary protocols to ensure online safety and security.

Physiotherapist Charlotte Hopkins said: “It’s so exciting to drive a project that supports rehabilitative palliative care. Our challenge for the new year is to make this really successful because it will ultimately help us to help more people, and will mean the patients will be able to seek our full support even if they cannot make it in to see us.”

Steve Smirthwaite, from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund, said: “We are delighted to help South Bucks Hospice with this important patient initiative and it is just one of the many and varied ways in which Freemasonry’s core values of friendship, integrity and charity are used to help benefit the whole community in Buckinghamshire.”

Visit www.buckspgl.org and www.sbh.org.uk