From left: Dr Andrew Fletcher, Medical Director, John Chesworth, Chair, Lynn Kelly, Chief Executive, Mark Hendrick, Kate Overend, Jim Brash, David Winstanley, Cllr Matthew Farnworth.
I revisited St Catherine's' Hospice and met with the Chief Executive, Lynn Kelly along with the Board of Trustees.
I received an update about recent developments challenges and future plans for the hospice. We talked about the Compassionate Communities project and the plans to expand this into Preston. As part of this project, there are also plans to start a Bereavement Cafe in Preston which would provide with peer-peer support for recently bereaved people to talk about their loss. These are already established in Chorley and South Ribble and there are plans to increase the outreach work in Preston. There has been an increased presence of staff in the community, with pilot schemes running to understand and respond to the needs of Muslim patients.
Current challenges include increasing costs, keeping wages on par with NHS staff, bed occupancy levels returning to pre-covid levels and funding challenges. Nearly £5 million is needed a year to run St Catherine's to provide quality end of life care. The charity is supported by donations to its shops, direct regular and one-off donations, fundraising activities and it's own lottery.
We also discussed the recent developments such as the extension to the Mill Cafe which in turn had helped to increase revenue.
A third of patients at St Catherine's Hospice come from Preston and the organisation manages 600 volunteers in total.