International Nurses Day: St Clare Hospice launches fundraising campaign to recruit more nurses so that more patients can be with their loved ones when they die
A charity fundraising campaign will be launched on Wednesday (May 12) to recruit more specialist nurses so that people in the Bishop's Stortford area with life-limiting illnesses can be at home with their loved ones when they die.
St Clare Hospice says that on average eight people die every day in West Essex. Six of these would have wanted to die at home but only two will. By funding more nurses, it hopes to change these figures.
The charity, which is based at Hastingwood, near Harlow, and serves West Essex and East Herts, has a long-term plan to expand the number of nurses in its inpatient unit and community teams to meet the increased need for specialist support.
The launch of its Nurses Are Needed campaign coincides with International Nurses Day, which is marked worldwide on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth on May 12, 1820 as a tribute to the work that nurses do year-round.
Carolanne Brannan, St Clare's director of patient care, said: "Nobody wants to die in pain, away from their loved ones or in unfamiliar surroundings.
"On average, every person who dies from a long-term illness today has been admitted to hospital three times in the past year, spending almost three weeks in hospital away from family and loved ones.
"In a year like 2020, with no visiting and risks from Covid-19, this is unbearable. The answer is clear – to give people the best possible death, we need to reach them earlier in their journey and provide them with holistic support.
"Giving people appropriate and adequate care in their homes means they are three times less likely to have an emergency admission to hospital in their last year of life.
"That’s why we're recruiting more trained, specialist hospice nurses to work closely with GPs, hospitals and district nursing to increase the number of people having the best possible death, pain-free and in the place they wish."
St Clare currently employs around 60 nurses and nursing assistants, with roles in its inpatient unit, day therapy service, Hospice at Home and community palliative care teams.
They work a total of about 100,000 hours a year caring for patients – and supporting their families – in the hospice and in people’s homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Carolanne, a registered nurse herself, said: "Celebrating International Nurses Day is so important to highlight the invaluable work that our highly skilled nurses do each and every day.
"The past year, as we’ve navigated the Covid-19 pandemic, has shown more than ever the vital role that nurses play in our healthcare system.
"We’re seeing an increased need for specialist, end-of-life nursing care in our local area, which is why we’re investing in our nursing teams over the coming months to ensure we can respond to that need. By putting more nurses in the right place at the right time we can support even more people facing death and dying.”
To find out more about the Nurses Are Needed campaign or to donate, visit www.stclarehospice.org.uk/nurses-are.