​Lewis-Manning Hospice Care launch Virtual Day Hospice service to combat loneliness and support patients with life-limiting illnesses

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care have launched their Virtual Day Hospice service thanks to a generous grant from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.  The brand-new service was introduced in response to the restrictions of COVID-19 and aims to offer patients with life-limiting illnesses a chance to really connect with each other and with the hospice’s clinical nursing team.

Senior Day Hospice Nurse, Mandy Harris said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect so many aspects of our lives, we have had to temporarily close our Day Hospice to ensure the safety of our patients, while continuing to support them at home. However, launching the Virtual Day Hospice is one of the platforms allowing us to continue to provide expert palliative advice and essential support to adults in East Dorset and Purbeck who are living with a life-limiting illness.

“So many of our patients feel socially isolated at this time, so we aim to provide much-needed social interaction for those people who are shielding at home. The purpose of these sessions is to promote a sense of wellbeing and a positive approach to living with a life limiting illness, as well as to alleviate the feeling of loneliness that patients may be experiencing and giving clinical advice and support.”

The online programme will include a diverse mix of activities, including;
·       Access to a team of experts who specialise in palliative and holistic care
·       An opportunity for a private one-to-one consultation with a member of the nursing team
·       Gentle exercise
·       Mindfulness and relaxation sessions
·       A chance for peer support through socialising, allowing patients to be connected with other people with life-limiting illnesses
·       Fun interactive activities such as quizzes, art and poetry
·       Diversionary therapy
·       Guest speakers

The Virtual Day Hospice will be via group and one-to-one video sessions, with spaces limited to allow maximum benefit for all participants. Sessions will be hosted by our Day Hospice staff with guest speakers and professionals attending during drop-in sessions. Patients will be part of a 10-week programme initially, which is subsequently reviewed to meet patient needs and offer the support required. There will also be drop-in sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, between 2pm-3.30pm.

Mandy added, “We are incredibly fortunate to have received funding for this project and it has allowed us to purchase tablets to ensure that all of our patients will have access to this service. All patients have been issued with a comprehensive tablet IT user guide, with clinical staff and volunteers delivering these to their homes and on hand to guide and support with usage. We want to say a huge thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for making this funding possible.

“Even when restrictions ease and patients are able to come back into the hospice, this service will still continue in order that patients have more choice and can continue to access support in the comfort of their own home.”

Do you know someone with a life limiting illness who would benefit from this unique Closer to Home service? Please contact Lewis-Manning Hospice Care who will be able to help, visit www.lewis-manning.co.uk or call 01202 708470 and ask for our Day Hospice Team.

About Lewis-Manning Hospice Care
Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is a charity established 29 years ago, providing extraordinary care to patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness across Poole, Purbeck and East Dorset. We offer a range of free hospice care services aimed at helping people to live well through their illness, closer to home.

These include:
– Day hospices, virtual and in person
– Creative arts & wellbeing support
– Lymphoedema clinic
– Better breathing clinic
– Family bereavement & support

Every year we support nearly 500 local people and we develop new services, based on patient need and identified gaps in the area.

To do this we need to raise over £1.6m every year. Without these funds we could not exist.

Our important work increases people’s physical and social well-being, reduces isolation and loneliness, supports people to stay in their homes longer, and alleviates the huge pressures on family and carers.

Registered charity no. 1120193