5th -11th October is Hospice Care Week, a national campaign organised and co-ordinated by Hospice UK, to highlight the work of Hospice Care charities. In West Surrey and North-East Hampshire, Phyllis Tuckwell provides supportive and end of life care for adult patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer.

“Our patients and their families are at the heart of everything we do,” says Tony Carpenter, Director of Marketing & Communications at Phyllis Tuckwell. “The changes that the pandemic has brought mean that we are living in a very different world at the moment, but it’s reassuring to know that some things haven’t changed. At Phyllis Tuckwell, we are still providing the same compassionate care as we have done for over 40 years – at the Hospice in Farnham, the Beacon Centre in Guildford and in patients’ own homes.”

Those who are staying on Phyllis Tuckwell’s In-Patient Unit, and receiving symptom management or end of life care, are still able to access the same medical, nursing and therapeutic care as before, and its Patient and Family Support team are still there to provide emotional, spiritual and practical support for the whole family. Patients who would usually have visited the Hospice or Beacon Centre for outpatient appointments or Living Well group sessions, are now being contacted via phone or video calls, or are receiving socially distanced doorstep visits. Group sessions are also starting up too, so patients can see each other as well as seeing staff, and can take part in virtual Tai Chi, Relaxation and Reminiscence therapies.

Tony continues: “Despite the challenges that the pandemic has brought with it, we are determined to continue providing the best possible care that we can, finding ways around the obstacles that we face and continually coming up with new, innovative ideas to ensure that we can support our patients and their families as fully as we usually would.”