I visited Hospice Isle of Man on 7th January, to assess a grant application for specialised Therapy Care Beds for the Rebecca House Children’s Wing.
About the Hospice
Hospice Isle of Man is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year. The Charity’s aim is to support adult and child patients, their carers and family members. The Hospice has developed innovative ways of extending its care beyond the building so that people have more choice in how they live, and where they receive end of life care when the time comes.
The care does not stop with patients; many services are also extended to those that matter to patients. The Charity is committed to providing ‘hospice influenced care’ that is well co-ordinated, flexible and personal to individuals when they need it,in a setting of their choice. Whether the preferred place of care is within the building, at home, from another health care provider or within a community setting, to ensure that carers and care partners are equipped with the skills that will support people to live well, their way, to the end of life.
Rebecca House is a purpose built facility within the Hospice that provides respite, palliative and end of life care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions from birth to 18 years. The care provides for the children who stay throughout their illness.
The Hospice care includes short-term respite stays, which may be for weekly sessions or block-care, depending on the needs of the family. These could include care to assist with symptom and pain management or end-of-life care. The multi-disciplinary team works together to ensure that needs are assessed and reviewed and that the care provided is well co-ordinated, flexible and personal to each individual.
The Charity offers a safe haven and a home from home environment in which physical, emotional, recreational and spiritual care is offered and where children are able to relax and have fun. The Hospice provides care six days a week between the hours of 8am and 8pm and overnight care on a request basis. Shift times vary and these are dependent on requests from parents and families. When providing end-of-life care the Hospice opens around the clock to support the child and family throughout the duration of their stay. The facility has 4 beds and is currently caring for 37 children.
The Hospice was undergoing major building works, which included adding an extra floor and making the entire Hospice more patient friendly. The funds for the renovation were provided by a legacy left by a Manx resident.
Visit to Hospice Isle of Man
I met Anne Mills, Chief Executive and Hannah Oram, Trusts and Funding Manager. Anne gave me a tour of the Hospice including the building works. I feel there will be a huge improvement for patients when the building is finished. The Hospice will have much wider corridors and door entrances for wheelchair uses and new sensory room.
The Hospice will be very similar to other modern children’s hospices I have visited such as Jack’s Place and Alexander Devine. The Hospice had an end-of-life room that would also be used for children, who were not patients but had died suddenly on the Island due to accidents or sudden illnesses. The Hospice will take care of the child’s body until the funeral and will provide support for their family. I hadn’t heard of this service in any other hospice I have ever visited and it really shows the impressive community-based ethos of the Hospice.
Anne explained that a specialised therapy bed and cot would make a huge difference to their children’s lives, as the bed and cot would allow children with severe conditions to use all areas of the Hospice, including the sensory room.
I feel that this is an excellent charity. It seems to work wonderfully with the local community, and is the only Hospice on the Isle of Man.
To learn more about Hospice of the Isle of Man, please visit their website: https://www.hospice.org.im/