I spent a very moving few hours at the Farleigh Hospice today, talking with some of people they are caring for, families, staff, volunteers and fundraisers.
We are so lucky to have Farleigh. Staff told me they don’t like to use the word “patient” for those who are unwell, they see each individual as a person.
People described it as a “home from home” and could not have been more full of praise for the staff and volunteers.
There are ten beautiful rooms at the hospice.
The gardens are cared for by volunteers.
The three community based teams also help support people in the mid, north and south Essex areas. They are currently supporting over 200 people at home in and near the city of Chelmsford.
Most of those they support are in the last twelve weeks of their lives, some in the last year and occasionally they support people with longer limiting conditions at particular stages when they need additional medical care.
They described how they help people and their families have the right place, for the right person at the right time.
We talked a lot about the importance of families being able to have time together and to make decisions together in these last weeks and days.
Today brought back memories of my own mother who died at home last autumn. It was a sad time but I and other family members know she was at peace and well cared for. She wanted to be at home.
The Farleigh team explained that by 2040 there will be an increase of 40 percent in the number of people needing end of life care. We discussed the importance of making sure that people know it is OK to die at home, if that is the right place for them and making sure that over the coming years there is an increase in trained healthcare workers from many different disciplines to help support them.
We also discussed the importance of volunteers, donors and fundraisers. I will be raising with Treasury Ministers some suggestions to simply some of the bureaucracy fundraisers can sometimes face.
Thank you so much to everyone who talked to me today. For sharing your memories and your experiences. Thank you to everyone who supports Farleigh in so many ways.