Do you know the Hospice of St Francis, Berkhamsted?

PUBLISHED: 17:58 19 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:31 20 February 2013

Medical staff at the hospice

Medical staff at the hospice

Abbi Langan answers the questions to help you learn more about this Berkhamsted-based hospice

Did you know the Hospice of St Francis has 300 beds?
Although St Francis in Berkhamsted is mostly known for its 12 beds in the Inpatient Unit for those patients with complex needs, it could be said that St Francis has 288 other beds under its specialist care. Did you know that at any one time, the staff at St Francis care for around 300 people in their own homes, in Day Care, the Inpatient Unit, in local hospitals and even in care homes?
Thought you knew all about us? Here are some other things perhaps you didnt!

Did you know we aim to provide excellent hospice care wherever patients are?
Our Specialist Nurse Team act as the lynchpin for patients who wish to be cared for at home; they coordinate care with district nurses, Iain Rennie nurses, and other St Francis staff. Some patients with terminal illness may be in hospital they might meet our consultant, who specialises in advanced heart and lung disease. She visits Watford General Hospital each week and sometimes can arrange for a patient to transfer to St Francis.
Other patients may live in a care home. We visit several local nursing homes to ensure that those nearing the end of their lives are well cared for and can stay in familiar surroundings for as long as possible.

Did you know we train thousands of healthcare professionals each year?
The Education Department ensures that the St Francis ethos of care is spread far and wide in 2009 alone, over 2,000 people have attended training courses at St Francis, including many local GPs and community nurses. We aim to promote better understanding and practice of hospice care across our whole community.

Did you know that we dont just care for people with cancer?
In fact, St Francis cares for a higher proportion of non-cancer patients than most other hospices in the UK, the proportion of patients with illnesses other than cancer is 25%.

Did you know that we support whole families, not just patients?
We know that serious illness brings uncertainty and despair to the whole family. Our skilled Supportive Care Team helps carers and those close to a patient to adjust to change and to voice their worries.

Do you know how patients can be referred to St Francis?
Patients are referred to us through their GP, consultant or nursing team. If you would like help in being referred to the Hospice of St Francis, please telephone 01442 869550.

Do you know where our patients come from?
Our patients come from as far east as St Albans and Harpenden, as far west as The Chalfonts, Amersham and Chesham in Buckinghamshire, as far north as Markyate and as far south as Abbots Langley. We share much of our catchment area with other hospices, and we work together to provide the best care for each individual patient.

Do you know what were planning next?
Were planning to expand our Outpatient and Day Care Service so that we can offer a wider range of medical treatments, such as blood transfusions. We hope to raise enough funds to open another bed in our Inpatient Unit,

Do you want to help us achieve these goals?
Our services are only available due to the generosity of our local community and supporters who help us raise over 80% of our funds. The best way you can help is to start a regular donation to St Francis through a Standing Order. A regular monthly, quarterly or annual donation means we can predict our income and therefore plan our services wisely. Or simply come along to one of our many fundraising events. Our active fundraising team is constantly organising fun events such as the upcoming Santa Dash in Hemel Hempstead on December 5 or a more adventurous 11-day Trek India in October 2011.

Did you know your community group, school or company can help St Francis too?
Were always grateful to those community groups, schools or companies who support us by choosing us as their Charity of the Year, Why not ring our Fundraising Team to ask if one of our Ambassadors could visit you to give a talk or presentation about our Hospice?

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