The recent rising levels of infection across our area have resulted in the need for additional beds in all our hospitals. To assist with this demand, Oakhaven in partnership with West Hants CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) will be opening four additional bedrooms to patients who are Covid negative and medically fit for discharge from acute hospitals, but who still require additional support.
Andrew Ryde, Chief Executive said ‘the last 12 months has been incredibly difficult and the fight goes on. There is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccination programme being rolled out but there are a few more months until the pressure is reduced. It is essential that we support our community and our NHS colleagues during this time and by opening these beds we are helping to relieve some of the pressure currently faced by Hospitals.’
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Oakhaven Hospice has worked hard to ensure that those within our community facing the end of life continue to receive our specialist support. Our 8 bedded unit has remained open, with Doctors, nurses and health care assistants adapting to the challenges of Covid and worked to find new ways of delivering care. Over the winter period capacity had already been increased to 10 beds but with this latest agreement we will now be providing 14 beds.
With restrictions on travel and limits placed on visiting times, many under our care have chosen to receive support at home surrounded by their families. Our community teams are working tirelessly to ensure that they are cared for, pain free and comfortable throughout their remaining days. Their expertise brings the specialist hospice care into people’s homes creating over 300 hospice beds across our community at any one time.
In order to manage the additional rooms at the Hospice, there will be an increased need for staff within the in-patient unit. Donna Wilkins, Director of People Services said ‘the level of support we have received has been phenomenal from our current staff, our wonderful volunteers, our ex colleagues as well as from qualified nurses who have picked up our plea on social media. So many people have expressed their desire to help, either with extra hours, volunteering, returning to work, or taking on additional duties to help the Hospice throughout this time. It is only with this support that we have been able to increase our bedded care.”
The hospice has faced a very challenging time during the pandemic with many of its income streams severely cut back in particular the closing of its shops during the lockdowns. Every month the hospice shops are closed is a loss of approximately £100,000 of income. In addition to this our inability to hold events and other fundraising initiatives has significantly cut back its income. The hospice is extremely grateful for the support the community shows in helping it provide its services.”