30 years since first ever patient at Florence Nightingale Hospice, and milestone marked with a big announcement for Aylesbury Vale cancer sufferers and their families

Wednesday marks the exact day thirty years ago that Florence Nightingale Hospice welcomed its first patient to the In-Patient Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 12:31 pm
Members of the Florence Nightingale Hospice team

And the milestone anniversary also heralds another very special announcement, as the charity launches its new Hospice at Home service, called [email protected], in Aylesbury Vale this week.

The charity's chief executive officer Jo Turner, said: "Research shows that 89% of people say they want to die at home or in a hospice, with 60 to 70% preferring to die at home, where they feel most comfortable.

“Yet more than half of us will die in hospital, often following an emergency admission during the last two weeks of life.”

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Aylesbury Vale is the only part of Buckinghamshire without a full Hospice at Home service. Evidence cited by Florries shows that hospital admissions can be avoided at the end of life with the support of a Hospice at Home team.

Until now the charity has part-funded a team of clinical nurse specialists (community nurses), as well as a team of Healthcare Assistants (the Nightingale 24/7 team) who have provided physical, psychological and social support to the patient and their family but are unable to deliver symptom control medications.

“Both of these teams are extremely busy and can feel stretched at times,” says Liz Monaghan, palliative and end of life care matron at Florence Nightingale Hospice, who leads the [email protected] project.

She added: “From conversations with relatives and colleagues both within the hospice and in the community, we identified that by expanding the Nightingale 24/7 team with the addition of qualified nurses who can administer medication, this would allow the team to be more responsive and be able to support more patients to stay at home.”

The [email protected] team will also support discharges from the hospice or hospital to allow patients to return home and be cared for there at the end of their life.

The new service will cost £300,000 per year, part of which has been paid for a donation from the Raven Trust in memory of John Mason Raven.

The charity believes the traditional generosity, effort and support of Buckinghamshire’s local communities will make it possible to fund this new service as well as all the current care offered by the hospice, based on a tradition of over 30 years of incredible community fundraising for this hospice.