THE Chief Executive of St Wilfrid’s Hospice has been giving an update on how the organisation is being affected by the pandemic.

David Scott-Ralphs said: “Referrals to our services continue to be high and we are working very hard to respond to all of these, in our 20 inpatient beds in the hospice and in patients’ homes.

“Our doctors, nurses, HCAs, therapists, care assistants, counsellors, spiritual support and social workers have supported almost 1600 patients and carers since April, which is 12% higher than the same period last year.

“We have begun providing individual outpatient therapy sessions once more in our Wellbeing Centre and we will gradually increase the numbers attending.”

He said other support is being provided.

David said: “We also continue to support Wellbeing patients via telephone and video conference and we are running online group sessions on relaxation and fatigue and breathlessness.

“We have also started to provide some counselling support again on a face to face basis in the hospice. Our Bereavement Counselling team can offer counselling support to our wider community, not just those who we have been supporting through hospice care.

“We also continue to take referrals for bereavement counselling for children and young people via our Seahorse Project.

We continue to expand our team of Community Support Volunteers, who offer befriending and other social support to patients in the community, by telephone and also now through home visits  in a socially-distanced way and following a risk assessment. We’re expanding this offer of telephone befriending support to residents of care homes in our catchment area.”

The full update can be found at https://www.stwhospice.org/update