Services for hospice patients are moving online as a charity takes an innovative approach to life in the COVID-struck world.
St Teresa’s Hospice has launched a wellness hub, a portal through which patients and their families can pass for support via the internet.
Help and advice, counselling and staff time is now available through videos and podcasts to help patients as they endure the pandemic.
Patients are able to register for an account, complete with login, so they can access the new virtual resource.
The initiative has been developed with funding from Darlington Borough Council.
St Teresa’s Hospice has been impacted badly by the pandemic with funding decimated while it still needs to raise £3m a year to provide free, in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
An emergency appeal launched in March raised more than £100,000 in a matter of weeks and hospice officials are still having to turn to the community for help in difficult times for all. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts.
Chief executive of St Teresa’s Hospice Jane Bradshaw said: “The wellbeing hub will benefit patients and carers exactly when they need it. It will keep evolving for years to come and it’s an innovation which we have been able to develop during lockdown when we asked ourselves ‘what can we do?’
“The hub provides a 24/7 source of support for patients and families using the multi-skilled team at the hospice. It will benefit patients whether they are in the hospice or at home in the community.
“We also think that this will prove useful to people who may not normally access hospice services, perhaps because they are reticent, or maybe because they are continuing to work until late in their illness. We will be able to reach out to them and give them access to all the help available at the hospice.
“We are immensely grateful to Darlington Borough Council for their support to develop the wellness hub.”
The new site is being trialled by patients, some of whom have been provided with tablets to access the wellbeing hub.