Groundbreaking project to widen hospice access is launched
A ground-breaking project exploring access to end of life care for homeless people and those who support them has been launched at St Nicholas Hospice Care
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St Nicholas Hospice Care has launched a ground-breaking project to explore widening access to end of life care for homeless people and those who support them.
A £22,000 grant for the project was awarded through a programme funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and managed by Help the Hospices, the charity which supports hospice care throughout the UK.
Jane Carpenter, a senior registered nurse on the Hospice’s inpatient Sylvan Ward, has been working with key partnership agencies to develop a service to help homeless people to receive treatment or bereavement support.
The project was inspired by Jane’s Cousin Stephen Pryke, a Stowmarket, Thetford and Diss Big Issue Seller who died in a car accident in May 2009. Stephen had mild learning difficulties and spent most of his adult life living on the streets. After his death a post-mortem examination showed Stephen had gastric cancer and he would have had only had days, or at the most weeks, to live.
Jane said: “I can’t imagine the pain he must have been in. His death made me realise we need to do things a bit differently and I want people who don’t normally engage with us to do so.
“Stephen’s death made me really think about the issues homeless people face – and a major problem is accessing health services and getting support when they have been bereaved.”