Last year at this time Sue Barham, our Nurse Consultant, explained in our Christmas Appeal that we had opened The Dr. Hugh Ford Inpatient Unit (IPU) and we were hoping to ensure that our patients and their families enjoyed Christmas to the fullest extent possible as it was likely it would be their last Christmas together.

Because of the response we had we were able to fulfil our aim and everyone here enjoyed the day immensely.

During this last year the Hospice has continued to expand its capacity to care for a wider range of situations faced by those suffering from life-shortening illnesses, together with their families, and we are proud of our achievements.

Not only are patients cared for in the IPU but we also have our Hospice at Home team who visit patients in their own homes.  We have a wide range of facilities in the Day Therapy Unit to manage a variety of symptoms which enables patients to live as well as possible for as long as possible.

Our family support team has been strengthened and now includes a social work practitioner and a part-time chaplain.  The chaplain of course also means we have been able to help more families to cope with bereavement.

Due to the support we have received we have been able to increase our staff numbers by 28 during this year.

What the above means is that looking forward to Christmas this year we will be able to support more patients and families than ever before and we hope to fulfil our aim once again to make Christmas as happy as it can be for those facing a last Christmas together.

This Christmas it would be fantastic if you could help us further with a one-off gift. It will help us to make this season as special as possible for those we are caring for.