County Council leader hears how Burnley's resilient Pendleside Hospice weathered storm of pandemic

The leader of Lancashire County Council was given an insight into how hospices have shown a resilience and adapted their services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

County Coun. Phillippa Williamson was welcomed to Burnley's Pendleside Hospice by chairman of trustees David Brown and chief executive Helen McVey.

She was told how Pendleside, based at Reedley and serving the Burnley and Pendle areas, increased its number of inpatient beds from 10 to 18 during the initial crisis to alleviate the pressure on NHS beds. It also expanded its 'Hospice At Home' service while having to temporarily close its day-care services because of the government restrictions.

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The recovery processes the hospice was now implementing to reinstate services were also described to County Coun. Williamson.

Lancashire County Council leader Phillipa Williamson (centre) is welcomed by Pendleside Hospice’s chairman of trustees David Brown and chief executive Helen McVey.

The council leader was given a tour of the hospice and saw, first-hand, services provided once again on the day care unit and on the inpatients’ ward.

She was told how it costs around £4.5million a year to keep Pendleside operating, providing care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and bereavement counselling, with over £3.5million of the cost having to be raised by donations from the public.

County Coun. Williamson, who also sits on the Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It’s been a pleasure to visit Pendleside and to get to see first-hand how the hospice works and how it has taken on the challenges thrown up by Covid-19.

“I have learned a lot about how hospices are funded and how Pendleside is trying to expand its services to cope with increasing demands. Hospices play a vital role more and more in the care of people suffering from life-shortening illnesses.

“I look forward in the future to the hospices in Lancashire having a closer working relationship with the county council.”

Helen McVey said: “We invited County Coun. Williamson to visit Pendleside after she contacted me to congratulate us on winning the BIBA Community Business Of The Year award.

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“I am sure that our conversation will help hospices in Lancashire to have a closer dialogue with the county council in the future.”

Pendleside is a finalist in three categories of the Red Rose Business Awards in November, for work undertaken within its community in the last year. The categories are Not For Profit, Health and Wellbeing, and Resilience.