A Visit to St Leonards Hospice

St Leonards Hospice are our charity of the year and I was delighted to spend the afternoon at the York Hub, getting to know what assistance the hospice offers.  As the name suggests St Leonards is a bricks & mortar hospice but as I learnt, so much more….

Not just limited to providing in-patient end of life cancer care, the Hospice now provides care and support for those living with, or dying from all types of life limiting conditions, providing that care either at home or within the Hospice with 16 in-patient beds. They work with other organisations, for example the NHS, the Rob Burrows/Kevin Sinfield Motor Neurone Campaign, MacMillan Nurses (to name but a few), co-ordinating care to ensure services overlap efficiently – always trying to ensure each precious pound donated goes as far as it can.

The Hospice provides this co-ordination by running the local SPOC service (Single Point Of Coordination) ensuring the right patient receives the right care at the right time. Referrals into the service can be made by anyone- the helpline number is 01904 777770. The service only launched at the start of COVID but now takes around 1200 calls a month.

The Hospice serves a population of 380,000 people across the community and last year the hospice vehicles providing care at home drove the equivalent of four times round the earth.  As well as providing care to people in their own homes there is support for carers, giving between 1-5 hours of cover each week, particularly for those caring for people in the last days/weeks of life  Doing this helps prevent carer burnout and supports people being at home where they want to be instead of in & out of hospital care.

It’s not just end of life support though. Caring for people early after diagnosis is an important aspect of what the hospice does via its Sunflower Well Being Hubs in the Tadcaster Road site and the new Selby centre. The hubs provide a place where people can drop in to get support and receive advice and signposting of likely current & future care needs. This helps patients, family & friends make informed choices about what they would want care to be like and their part in it.

Finally, the hospice provides bereavement support, which can be given in person, remotely via  phone/video call, or by giving people other providers who can help. There is a lot of bereavement support out there but it can otherwise be hard to find. Last year the Hospice were able to support 200 people this way. Giving people support early in bereavement helps stop crises developing and alleviates demand on GP services. Access is via phone call -again on 01904 777 760.

As you would anticipate, all this care comes at a price. It costs £8m per annum to run the hospice, only 27% of which is funded by the NHS. The other 73% comes from donations, legacies and other fund raising efforts. You will appreciate this makes it very difficult for the Hospice to budget – never really knowing what income they will receive in a year.

And this is how we can help. By…


Hudda Morgan
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