Sian Cole, Director of Care services talks about the work Longfield are undertaking to re-imagine current services and help the needs of patients during the Covid Crisis and going forward.

"COVID-19 has brought worries and anxiety but it has also brought out the best in people across the community. We have seen people offering all types of help, from providing face masks and flowers to the donations to the Urgent Appeal".  

"These acts of kindness have spurred the team on to keep doing what they do best. Many of the charity’s staff have been working extra hours and taking on additional responsibilities over recent months. The commitment of both those working directly with patients and the teams behind the scenes has meant we have continued to provide care and support throughout the pandemic. And this has helped relieve the pressure on the NHS. We quickly contacted patients and carers and agreed individual support programmes by telephone. Patients range from their 20s to their 90s, with a variety of conditions including heart failure, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer. Our phone calls provide a vital lifeline for many. We offer psychological support, advice on managing symptoms and signposting to additional help in the community".

"Within weeks we set up a telephone counselling service, to continue the delivery of this vital service. A waiting list was growing, and the team wanted to ensure we could meet the demand for our highly skilled service. We are now able to offer telephone counselling five days per week and hope to grow it as demand continues to rise. The hospice supports some of the most vulnerable people across Gloucestershire, many of whom will continue to shield for some time".

"Our challenge now is to ensure that patients can continue to access the care they need in a safe way. We will be embracing technology and innovation to deliver an array of different services online including tai chi movement for wellbeing, fatigue and breathlessness groups and extended support for carers". 

"We also plan to open our beautiful garden to patients, families and carers as a safe place to come for relaxation and respite away from home.

"I have been immensely proud of the whole team. They have put our patients’ and carers’ needs first, always striving to ensure the very best possible care at all times".

Sian Cole

Director of Care Services