Mr Hunt was welcomed at the Farnham Hospice by Sarah Brocklebank, Chief Executive of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care (PTHC), Alan Brooks, the Chair of Trustees and Ward Sister Ursula Peart.
Jeremy commenced his tour of the Hospice by viewing its newly refurbished 18-bed In-Patient Unit, where he was shown two specially adapted rooms: the Rowan room, an environmentally-controlled room for patients with motor neurone disease and the Maple room, which has been specifically designed for patients with conditions such as dementia, who might be confused or disorientated by their surroundings. He had the chance to chat with one of the patients who commented on the high quality care he was receiving.
Jeremy was then shown the Hospice’s beautiful gardens, which he walked through to the Dove Lounge, where Day Hospice is held. Karen McEvoy, the Day Hospice Sister, welcomed him and he then chatted informally with some of the patients, staff and volunteers.
The visit was very informal, without any speeches, but the conversations between the local MP and PTHC staff ranged from the special qualities of end of life care, the importance of the care Phyllis Tuckwell provides at home and how IT can support it. PTHC is working hard to achieve better connections, for example between the ambulance crews and PTHC databases, which would reduce the unnecessary admissions to hospital A&E, thereby avoiding wasting money and blocking hospital beds.
Jeremy Hunt said: “It is really pleasing to see the high quality care that Phyllis Tuckwell is providing to local patients, not just at its hospice in Farnham but right across the catchment area. I am really encouraged to see how Phyllis Tuckwell is working towards 24/7 care and integrating its services with those of the NHS.”
The visit showed the Minister the dedicated and inspiring care which Phyllis Tuckwell provides for its patients and their families at the Hospice. However, now working from the Beacon Centre in Guildford, the Hospice in Farnham, and also caring for an increasing number of patients in their own homes, Ms Brocklebank highlighted that now 85% of its care actually happens away from the In-Patient Unit.
Phyllis Tuckwell supports over 250 patients, relatives and carers every day, providing not only medical and nursing care, but also therapies, counselling, social work advice and practical support.
To find out more about Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care, please visit www.pth.org.uk