Background The Mill, St Catherine’s Park is to help address the feelings of apprehension and abandonment many patients feel about ‘entering’ palliative care or when they are discharged. Prior to The Mill opening, 96% of hospice patients, staff and volunteers surveyed felt that an informal and welcoming drop-in centre could help to overcome this. In November 2014 The Mill, St Catherine’s Park opened – a community hub with a welcoming cafe on the ground floor and therapy rooms on the first floor.
To promote independence through specialised information, advice, counselling, therapies and peer support in a relaxing, therapeutic environment
To provide continuity of care to reduce apprehension and isolation
To engage with the local community and change public perception of hospice care.
Use of volunteer ‘advisors’ to provide help, support and information to people to encourage independence and choice.
New patient education programmes to encourage independence and choice
A new drop-in coffee morning for patients to overcome loneliness, anxiety and feelings of abandonment.
A timetable of gentle exercise activities such as a tai chi and yoga.
Creation of an informal, non-clinical environment for patients and families – ‘it was so good to have somewhere in the grounds to go for some rest and relaxation; thank you so much for the haven you offered at this time’
Encourages people to the hospice who would not usually feel able to just ‘drop by’. 60,000 visits in the first year is estimated
The information services have benefited more local people
Reinvigorated support for the hospice.
Conclusion The Mill is changing public perception of hospice care, is providing informal means of support which complement existing hospice services and is generating more community engagement
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