Dorothy House – which provides compassionate care, supporting people with life-limiting illness to live well and die well – has launched an appeal to provide extra care during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Local hospice, Dorothy House has launched a ‘Stepping Up Support’ Appeal to help raise funds for their doctors, nurses and carers to provide extra care for the community as Covid-19 puts unprecedented pressure on hospitals. In response to rising demand for patient care, Dorothy House has developed new ways to provide care for local people, including increasing inpatient bed capacity with a new ward to look after more patients than ever before.

Dorothy House urgently seeks the support of local people and businesses to help them step up their response to the national emergency as the Covid-19 pandemic develops. The appeal aims to provide funding for palliative and end of life patient care over the coming months and invites volunteers to support the work of the hospice.  As over 70% of the care provided by Dorothy House is usually paid for by fundraising support from the community, this appeal will also help replace lost income due to closed charity shops and cancelled fundraising events.

In an unprecedented move Dorothy House has opened a temporary Inpatient Ward and eight new beds within existing therapy rooms at the Hospice in Winsley, with the support of the NHS. This service will care for patients who would otherwise be in hospital and can be discharged to Dorothy House to help reduce pressure on hospitals already working hard to protect local people.

During the pandemic, Dorothy House nurses and carers are also increasing their at-home care for people in their own homes particularly anyone who is more vulnerable in hospital.  Patients isolating at home continue to be supported by the hospice’s clinical and family support teams to maintain vital contact, either with home visits, a 24-hour advice line or remotely by phone or video calls. The Hospice is also developing new tools such as videos of physiotherapy exercises made by the Dorothy House Therapies team to help patients stay active at home and a new relaxation CD is being produced for patients to ease anxiety or stress.

As well as seeking funding, the hospice is also asking for volunteer support during the Vovid-19 emergency. While Dorothy House also has a strong team of existing volunteers, this will allow hospice doctors and nurses to focus care where they are needed the most. Volunteers could be asked to help remotely by keeping in contact with patients either online or by phone or by dropping off supplies or checking on people in person.

Inpatient staff ready to care for patients on the new ward

Dr Emma Frampton, medical director at Dorothy House said: “There is no hesitation on our part. We have seen the need created by the pandemic and we’re acting now to extend our services, support the NHS and protect the most vulnerable in our community. My nursing team are stepping up to help and we know our amazing local communities will do everything they can to support this urgent appeal. Thank you.”

Dorothy House provides compassionate care, supporting people with life-limiting illness to live well and die well. All Hospice services are provided free of charge and are made possible by the generous support of the local community.

To donate to the Stepping Up Support Appeal as a one-off or regular payment or to register to volunteer visit dorothyhouse.org.uk  

For information on current Dorothy House services call 0345 0130 555.