Hospice lottery grant boosts care at home

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One of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s best-loved charities has been handed a £700,000 lottery grant to boost its Hospice @ Home service.

The cash will cover nearly 70 per cent of the cost of the service for the next five years, with additional help from the Robertson Trust and NHS Forth Valley Endowments.

Irene McKie, Strathcarron’s chief executive, said: “It will make a huge difference to patients and their carers.

“The Hospice @ Home team will provide compassionate and practical support for them at what can be a very difficult and challenging time.”

She added: “It will give patients and carers the confidence they need to stay at home where possible.

“It will complement services provided by the NHS, social work, and Strathcarron’s Clinical Nurse Specialist Team.”

The National Survey of Bereaved People, published recently by The Office for National Statistics, revealed that only one third of people who express a preference to die at home actually do.

The lottery grant will mean many more local people are offered the choice.

Strathcarron’s director of nursing, Mrs Marjory Mackay, said that under Hospice @ Home, experienced hospice health-care assistants will work with people and their carers in their own homes.

She added: “They will provide emotional and practical support, as well as personal care, to allow patients to stay at home in the last days of their life, if that is their wish.”

Jenny Stevenson, who will manage the new service, said: “Like Strathcarron, we will strive to improve the lives of people who have advanced illness, helping them to live well until they die. 

“The Hospice@Home team are committed to working with people and their carers in a way that makes this happen.”