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Ashgate Hospicecare have announced that they are to redeploy nursing staff from other areas of the hospice to ramp up staffing levels on their 21-bedded inpatient unit. This move will enable an increase in admissions from Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the wider community.
The charity has been caring for those with Coronavirus since the initial outbreak and have continued to do so throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 patients are cared for in a separate part of its inpatient unit, with strict infection control measures in place throughout.
Hayley Wardle, Director of Quality and Patient Care, said: “It is our duty to do everything we can to help support the national fightback against the pandemic. Our teams are taking patients from Chesterfield Royal Hospital on a daily basis as we offer our specialist care to those who need it and crucially free up hospital beds.
“We are also feeling the pressure out in the community as more people are being discharged home from hospital. Our teams are working hard to support dying people in their own homes, to ensure they receive the compassionate end-of-life care they deserve and to prevent them from having to be admitted in the first place.
“Ultimately, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS and are working with our healthcare colleagues to support their efforts and ensure that anybody who needs specialist end-of-life care receives it.”
The redeployment of staff will mean a temporary reduction or pause in some of the hospice’s other services such as their Lymphoedema clinic and Day Hospice support.
Hayley said: “It was not an easy decision to reduce these services, many of which people depend on. However, the pressures being felt by staff and volunteers on the inpatient unit and the wider health system could not be ignored.
“It has been truly inspiring to witness the actions and flexibility shown by our staff from other clinical areas and their willingness to adapt to support each other, our community and the fight against COVID.
“Right now, we are facing unprecedented demand for our care and services. And that is people with and without Coronavirus.”
Due to the design of the individual patient rooms at Ashgate Hospicecare, patients continue to be able to have visitors, as they have done throughout the pandemic. Each patient can have one named visitor with the rules relaxed a little for those at the very end of life.
The increase in demand for the charity’s services comes as they close their shops for a third time, which is likely to cost them £350,000 in lost sales until the next Government review of lockdown.