Lockdown One Year On: Hospice in the Weald remembers the dead as family members say goodbye on the phone

Lockdown One Year On: Hospice in the Weald remembers the dead as family members say goodbye on the phone

Lockdown One Year On: Hospice in the Weald remembers the dead as family members say goodbye on the phone

CARING: Rob Woolley (pictured above) is the chief executive of Hospice in the Weald said people can make their own choices about their end of life.

“You do not need to die alone,” was the moving message from the chief executive of Hospice in the Weald on the UK’s first National Day of Reflection.

Held on Tuesday (March 23), it is a day to remember  those who have died during the past 12 months, to consider how to support those left behind and to hope for a better future.

The year has seen visiting restrictions at hospitals and care homes, and numbers reduced to as few as 15 at funerals at one time. Many endured the harrowing ordeal of having to say goodbye on the phone.

And it has been reported this week more than 500 ‘do not attempt resuscitation’ orders were given for patients, without agreement of the patient or family, according to a report by the Care Quality Commission.

Hospice in the Weald is based in Pembury in Tunbridge Wells, Kent and has the Cottage Hospice in Five Ashes near Mayfield.

It provides free care for patients in the last year of their lives, and those important to them in Kent and Sussex.

Lockdown One Year On: Hospice in the Weald remembers the dead as family members say goodbye on the phone
LOVING HOME: The Cottage Hospice at Five Ashes near Mayfield which is part of Hospice in the Weald

It has stayed open during the pandemic, caring for patients with Coronavirus as needed. Some of its services, such as counselling, have been offered via telephone or video call.

Its chief executive Rob Woolley said: “Amidst the crisis, our team have been working tirelessly to ensure that patients within our care can be physically surrounded and supported by family and friends right until the end.”

He said: “As the pandemic continues, we want our Kent and Sussex community to remember that we are here, and you can be transferred here in as little as 24 hours. Our message is simple, you do not need to die alone and your choices are your own.”

The hospice’s care director Paul Madden said staff and volunteers have conversations with families about their wishes at the end of life “every day”.

Lockdown One Year On: Hospice in the Weald remembers the dead as family members say goodbye on the phone
HERE FOR YOU: Paul Madden, care director at Hospice in the Weald

He said: “We want to help as many people as possible be in a good place, physically and mentally, when it comes to the end of life.

“Whether this means making decisions about your future wishes, or being admitted for in-patient care, we want people to know that hospice care is here for them.”

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This content was originally published here.

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