Hospice Care Week

Leading Derbyshire hospice, Treetops, has taken part in this year's national Hospice Care Week highlighting just what it takes to offer compassionate end-of-life care in the local community.

Throughout the profile-raising week, 5-11 October, the hospice has offered insights into its services, and shout-outs to volunteers, staff and supporters through social media and the local press.

On Monday 5 October, the start of Hospice Care Week, Treetops presented nineteen volunteers and two nurses with long-service awards, whose overall contribution to the charity totals 346 years. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the awards were presented virtually from the hospice’s Annual General Meeting.

It is an absolute delight for me to present these awards

List of long service award winners from TreetopsJulie Heath, Treetops chief executive, who presented the awards via Zoom from the hospice, explained the vital importance of volunteers:

“As we face some very tough and challenging months ahead for us all, it is an absolute delight for me to present these awards and share such positive news of how wonderful our volunteers and staff are.

“Each and every one of our volunteers is integral to Treetops – from its early beginnings to where we are now, proudly positioned as Derbyshire’s leading adult hospice.

“Our awards tonight are extra special. They highlight those people who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the charity, giving decades of their lives and time to Treetops in so many different ways.

“We are so grateful to everyone for their hard work, dedication and for helping make Treetops what it is today. Thank you all so very much.”

On Tuesday 6 October, Hospice UK shared a special case study about the new Roaming Nurse Service which Treetops started during lockdown to help alleviate pressures on the NHS.  The service wouldn’t exist without the help of Derbyshire-based car maker, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, who have kindly loaned a vehicle for the Roaming Team to use every night.

The Roaming Service can respond quickly and has an existing knowledge of the patient and their needs

Director of Clinical Services, Phil Shreeve, said:

“We have families that perhaps don’t need a Treetops Hospice at Home nurse to sit with a loved one for a whole night, but might need to call with a one-off request. They can now call the Roaming Service who can respond quickly and who have an existing knowledge of the patient and their needs.

“Previously, if a family recognised their loved one was in pain or deteriorating, they would call the 111 out-of-hours service. They would assess the situation and send out a District Nurse but this could mean a wait as the service is extremely busy. Our Roaming Team may be closer and be able to respond more quickly.”

On Wednesday 7 October, the hospice raised awareness of its Wellbeing Services now available online. Patients continuing to shield at home can now access the following weekly or fortnightly services via Zoom:

  • Virtual Wellbeing Cafe
  • Coffee, Cake & Carers
  • MNDa Support Group
  • Chair-based Exercise

Bereavement counselling, which has been moved online and via telephone calls for clients since lockdown, was the focus of Thursday 8 October. Treetops is also offering free bereavement counselling to care home staff left devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Group in a circle talking with teaTreetops has been offering bereavement counselling to children, adults and families for over twenty years but has recognised the huge impact that the pandemic has had, and continues to have on care home ‘communities’.
It is estimated that at least 200 residents from care homes in Derby and Derbyshire have died from COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak.

On Friday 9 October, the hospice took the opportunity to thank all its supporters in a special video montage including shout outs to those who  have donated food, treats and PPE, raised money for the hospice through sponsored events and donations to the Treetops Appeal, and also to the local media for helping raise Treetops profile.

During the last two days of national Hospice Care Week, Treetops encouraged supporters to join their weekly Lottery and raised awareness of the current Treetops COVID-19 Appeal. The hospice is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need and welcomes donations to ensure the future of the hospice and its services.

Treetops was one of more than 200 charitable hospices across the UK taking part in Hospice Care Week, led by the national hospice and end of life care charity, Hospice UK.