Cancer Relief will be able to enhance its “end of life” care service for terminally ill cancer patients in the comfort of their own home as part of a new Hospice Outreach Service.
The charity will receive a £380,000 annual grant to provide the “holistic” service, the Health Minister Neil Costa yesterday announced.
The model of this Hospice Outreach Service will have doctors or nurses from Cancer Relief working with the GHA’s Palliative Care team to care for patients in their homes rather than in a hospital environment.
The announcement was welcomed by Cancer Relief chairperson Marisa Desoiza and charity manager Grainne McKenna.
Mrs Desoiza said: “This is like a dream come true for Cancer Relief.”
“This is a huge stepping stone and this will enable us to reach people affected by cancer right from the very beginning.”
“This is just another step that will make the quality of life for patients and family much greater.”
The grant will enable Cancer Relief to hire a part-time doctor specialising in palliative care in addition to the general practitioner already working with them.
In addition, the charity will be able to offer is clinical supervision for these doctors.
To carry this out, they will be working with other hospices in the UK to have a specialist consultant advising and networking with Cancer Relief to “enhance the quality of care here”.
Grainne McKenna, Cancer Relief’s charity manager, explained this is something the charity has been hoping to achieve over the past seven years.
She explained that although the Hospice Outreach Service is very similar to a service already offered by Cancer Relief, the service will be “enhanced” with the help from the grant.
Last year, Cancer Relief had 340 service users. Of those, 58% were patients and 67% of them had palliative care needs.
In January alone, an additional 30 patients were referred to the charity, and 13 of htme are patients with palliative care needs.
Ms McKenna said: “The number of people we are supporting is increasing yearly, and a high percentage of those people are diagnosed with terminal cancer.”
“The Hospice Outreach Service is about is offering the people the choice in their end of life care and I think that is really vital.”
Mr Costa said the provision for hospice care was part of the government’s 2015 manifesto.
“To be able to provide hospice care and palliative support for terminally ill cancer patients at home in a friendly environment surrounded by loved ones is something that we feel very passionate about,” he said.
“I am pleased that we are now able to increase, in a structured and professional service, the provision of this extremely valuable care.”
The here are various benefits to providing hospice care at home; patients and their loved ones may feel more comfortable in a familiar environment, which also facilitates visits from relatives and friends, the government said.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja