Pendleside Hospice to increase beds from 10 to 18 to ease pressure on NHS
The number of beds will increase from 10 to 18 alleviating the necessity for palliative care patients to remain in hospital at a time when beds there are at a premium.
The initiative is funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group.
The hospice’s maintenance team is converting the area in day services into the eight extra bedrooms. Day services has been closed because of the government’s social distancing instructions.
All the extra rooms will be single with wash basins and specialist nursing beds. There will be access to bathroom and toilet facilities. The first ones will open by Friday and the remainder during the course of next week.
Former staff including some that have retired have volunteered to return to nursing duties to help with the extra patients while existing staff have offered to work overtime.
Also, two advanced nurse practitioners who lecture at UCLan – and who have worked previously as clinical nurses specialists – have also come forward to offer their services to support the medical team as has a local GP Dr Faheen Umar, who undertook some of her GP training at the hospice.
Helen McVey, chief executive at Pendleside, said: “There was a need for hospices, like Pendleside, to align themselves into the bigger picture of what is happening at the moment and the increase in demand for health care services during the crisis. We already have a good working relationship with the NHS but this further enhances that relationship.
“What we are doing is what we are experts at, and that is, offering palliative care and care for patients at the end of their life. At the same time it eases the pressure on hospital beds which are ever increasing due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ms McVey added: “Despite all of this activity and commitment from the government to support Hospices Pendleside is still going to show a huge deficit in its fundraising over the coming months. So I appeal to people to join our Keep Your Hospice Open campaign by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/pendlesidecovid19appeal and making a donation.
“What is happening now at Pendleside during the Covid-19 crisis shows what a valuable resource hospices are and the need for funding during these times are as critical as ever.”