St Catherine’s Hospice does not only care for people within the hospice building.
We have a team of expert nurses who work out in the community providing assessment, treatment and support in community clinics and in the comfort of people’s own homes.
They are called Clinical Nurse Specialists, or the CNS team for short, and they work across Central Lancashire.
This experienced team is available seven days a week, offering expert knowledge of complex symptom and pain management alongside psychological support.
Working closely with GPs, district nurses, care home staff and other health and social care staff, they are there to help patients achieve the best quality of life at home. Their support at the end of life is also invaluable to people who would prefer to die in their own homes rather than in a hospital or hospice.
To avoid confusion with Macmillan Cancer Support, it’s important to point out that our CNS team is funded and employed by St Catherine’s Hospice, and are the only such nurses working in the community in the Preston, Chorley and South Ribble areas. We offer a similar, specialised service to Macmillan, but are a completely separate charity.
Our Befriending Service provides a life-line to many people affected by life-shortening illnesses by providing a trained volunteer to spend time with the patient on a weekly basis.
It began in 2011, funded by a Lancashire County Council grant, and was initially aimed at patients and their carers to allow a carer to take a break from their caring role. This allows them to carry out important tasks such as visit the dentist, hairdressers or a friend, or simply to take some important time out for themselves.
The service has now been extended and works with people with a life-shortening condition who are living alone, as well as those who are not already known to the Hospice.
To be eligible for the service the person must:
The befriender will visit for up to four hours a week providing companionship, the chance to take part in hobbies and other social activities, and a friendly face to chat to. The role does not include any personal care, moving and handling or domestic duties, nor does it replace any professional paid worker.
The Family Support Team provides a comprehensive training programme for all befrienders, and the volunteers have all undertaken interviews and appropriate ‘checks’. The service is coordinated by the team who make all initial assessments, and match volunteers to a person’s needs and interests.
We are extremely grateful to the volunteers for their time and commitment and are pleased they find the experience rewarding and fulfilling.
If you are interested in giving your time as a volunteer befriender or if you could benefit from the support of the service please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 01772 629171.