St Luke's Hospice

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth cares for more than 3,200 terminally ill patients and their families annually across our integrated service of Hospice, Hospital and Home care. Our expertise is in symptom management; caring for people at the end stage of illnesses such as Cancer & Motor Neuron Disease.

The ‘Beneficial Beds’ project aimed to provide the latest in low-rise bed technology which would increase the security and comfort of our most vulnerable and frail patients treated by our specialist inpatient unit. In our catchment area we are seeing higher numbers of older more complex patients who are more prone to falls and this project was specifically aimed at reducing the risk of this happening for patients admitted to our unit, in response to increasing local need.  

The difference this project will make long-term, for patients, is clear, without buying these beds there would be an increased risk of negative impacts to a patient if they did fall ranging from distress and loss of confidence to painful injuries, a loss of independence and in the worst cases death. 
For friends and family the new beds mean that they can be comforted that a loved one is as safe, comfortable and well-cared for as they can be with the most appropriate equipment being used, drastically reducing the stress levels of their family and friends and allowing them peaceful last moments with their loved ones.
For the nursing staff it reinforces their own confidence that they can carry out their role to the best of their abilities and ensure the safety of their patients without the anxiety or worries that a patient may unintentionally injure themselves; during what is already a hugely emotional time for all involved
All staff, volunteers, patients and their families would like to pass on their thanks to the Trustees of the Virginia House Settlement for their continuing support in helping this project come to fruition. 

In 2018 St Luke's Hospice received a grant of £2000 which was used for the "Patches project ". The following information is an extract from a report received from St Lukes about this project

We identified that parents didn’t know where to begin conversations about death and dying, and that children were often overlooked by professionals concerned about getting it wrong.  The Inpatient unit experienced this result on a regular basis:  patients with young children coming into an inpatient hospice for terminal care who hadn’t prepared their child for their death.  We worried about the longer term effects on the mental health and resilience of these children in the future.

Aims: Our solution was to develop an in-house service to provide bespoke family centred, pre-bereavement support to any family under the care of our service where the parent or a significant adult has received a terminal diagnosis, acknowledging that not all children will require complex or long term interventions.  Data had not been collected previously to establish the extent of need of this service.

Summarise how the grant was used to improve people's lives, highlighting any key milestones and achievements.
Results: 89 children were supported.  Interventions with children included individual one to one support, making worry dolls and memory boxes to liaison with schools and other services. Adult interventions ranged from advising and supporting parents about the language and timing of conversations and need for honesty to helping with letter writing and mummy diaries.


Content and Images Courtesy of St Luke's Hospice