In Funding Stories, Physical & mental health, wellbeing & safety

Project: Provide additional PPE and medical equipment for staff at The Hospice of St Francis

Grant: £2,271.00

Fund: Bucks Coronavirus Response Appeal

The Hospice of St Francis is a charity supporting over 2,000 local people and their families. They help them live their lives to the fullest through improving symptoms, achieving personal goals, and helping them feel safe. Throughout the pandemic, The Hospice of St Francis continued to care for an average weekly caseload of 830 patients, carers and families. All of their patients were vulnerable individuals, with many of them suffering from chronic lung and respiratory conditions. The team worked relentlessly throughout the pandemic to minimise the impact felt by their patients.

Their hospice at home community team worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic supporting patients in their homes. Between April – May 2020, the team spent 384 hours in patient homes. Various other forms of face-to-face support were delivered via confidential telephone calls and other online platforms, ensuring all of their patients received the necessary support.

With support from Heart of Bucks, the hospice was able to purchase additional PPE and medical equipment making certain that patients were safely treated in the Impatient Unit (IPU). The Hospice bought four oximeters that measured patients’ blood oxygen levels and a Littman stethoscope. These allowed staff to act swiftly to any changes in breathing or oxygen saturation levels. The purchase of two thermoscan thermometers further enabled them to keep their IPU patients safe with accurate temperature measurements.

Mick’s Story 

The grant awarded to the Hospice of St Francis benefitted over 100 patients, visitors, and staff. One such beneficiary was Mick, who had been receiving support from the hospice since his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer.  Mick explained how this treatment changed during the pandemic:

“I had one session at the Hospice before the lockdown started. But the support didn’t stop; it simply adapted. As I am on slow-release morphine to manage bone pain, one of the nurses named Viv regularly calls me to check how I am managing my medication. The pain used to be relentless, like a nagging toothache, but it is now under control and I always have somebody to contact when it gets worse. They are an incredible bunch of people.”

Mick was receiving an intravenous bone-strengthening drug at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, but this stopped due to the lockdown. The Hospice of St Francis then stepped in and administered the drug themselves in the IPU. As a result, Mick’s pain drastically reduced and his quality of life improved.

The support of the Hospice has been unbelievable and so motivating. They are very special people and without their help and encouragement, I would never have got a holiday – there’s always something there that’s positive. You may have a life-limiting illness and in need of support, but there is so much you can do – and there are people to help you achieve that.

Mick and his wife

To read more about the work being done by the Hospice of St Francis, please visit their website.