A HOSPICE community care team is marking a decade of providing vital end-of-life care to people at home in York.

St Leonard’s Hospice is celebrating ten years since the launch of Hospice@Home and estimates that well over 3,000 patients have been cared for within the service since 2009. The team is currently caring for an average of 40 new patients every month, as well as their loved ones and carers.

The hospice is made up of experienced registered nurses, carers and administrators who are supported by a senior sister. The team provides specialist hands-on nursing care and support to patients in the last few weeks of their life. This service can be offered to people approaching the end of life who would prefer to die at home, those who need extra support at home who do not wish to be admitted to hospital or the hospice or those currently waiting for admission to the hospice for symptom management or end of life care.

The team works in partnership with GPs, district nurses and MacMillan Nurses to provide this care, giving people more choice about where they are cared for.

Back in December 2009, the service looked very different, run mainly by bank staff with members of the team using their own cars to get around. Now there are 15 dedicated members of the team providing care to patients in their own home around York, Tadcaster, Selby, Easingwold and parts of East Yorkshire and Ryedale.

Senior sister for Hospice@Home, Ally Skelton, said: “It is an absolute privilege to lead such a dedicated team delivering end-of-life care in the community as part of the extensive services the Hospice offers. We are very proud to be celebrating ten years of this fantastic service, which is growing and developing all the time to meet the needs of people in the community.”

Registered nurse Val Noble has worked for Hospice@Home for the full ten years. She said: “There has been lots of change over the years and it has been lovely to see Hospice@Home grow and develop as we’ve got busier and busier. It is a really nice team to work in and a being allowed into people’s homes. I find it so rewarding to help improve working relationships with other care providers in the area to deliver a better service for the patients, which are always our priority.”