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Hospice’s three-year plan to improve care

AN ambitious three-year strategy has been launched by the Heart of Kent Hospice to expand and en- hance the service it provides. The strategy, outlined by chief executive Sarah Pugh (pictured) in the charity’s annual review, identi- fies three key areas to take the hos- pice forward. These are:

Innovating – to reach out to more people in more ways with more services; Investing – in the workforce, staff and volunteers to increase income;  Influencing – end-of-life care in the wider community by strength- ening relationships with other health care workers. During the year, the hospice ap- pointed its first head of outreach and first head of education and de- velopment. It also appointed awel- fare adviser to help patients and their families accesswelfare entitle- ments, easing the financial worry of coping with a terminal illness. Most significantly, it also created

a new role of dementia nurse spe- cialist and, since the post was es-

tablished, the hospice has seen a steady increase in the number of dementia patients and their fami- lies coming forward for end-of-life support – 75% more than previ- ously. The nurse not only works with

the patients nearing the end of their life, but also their families and car- ers who have to struggle with their day-to-day care. The hospice’s education and de-

velopment team has already begun influencing end-of-life care in the community and offers courses to teach care workers the methods and skills used in the hospice so

they can apply the same standards in residential homes in the area. The hospice has developed a close working relationship with the Loose Valley Care Centre, where manager Marisa Spice is anxious that her residents receive the best end-of-life care. Of the £5m needed to run the hospice for a year, 28% comes from voluntary and fundraising income, 25% from its charity shops, 21% from gifts in wills and trusts, 20% in grants, 5% from NHS England and a small amount from invest- ment income. Atotal of 28% more patientswere referred to the hospice for end-of- life care during 2014 and the hos- pice now supports about 40% of all patients in the area who die from a life-limiting illness. Mrs Pugh said:“We would like to

thank everyone who supported the hospice this year. Providing excep- tional end-of-life care to patients and their families in our local com- munity who need it most is only possible with your continued and generous support.”

Assault case

AMAIDSTONE man has appeared in court after an outburst in the town in which he smashed a win- dow, hit another drinker in a High Street pub and two police officers. Nathan Vallis (24) appeared at

Mid Kent Magistrates’ Court where he was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. He admitted causing criminal dam- age, assault and two counts of as- saulting officers at Maidstone Police Station. Vallis, from Gravelly Bottom

Road, must also pay £425 compen- sation, a £150 criminal courts charge and a £60 victim surcharge.

Thief in court

AMANwho stole an electric tooth- brush worth £216 from Sainsbury’s in Romney Place, Maidstone, was given a suspended prison sentence. Andrew Caskie (48) from Rochester, appeared at West Kent Magistrates’ Court where he ad- mitted going equipped for theft and shoplifting. He had a Stanley knife for use in connection with theft. Magistrates sentenced Caskie to 80 days in prison, suspended for two years. He must also pay a £180 criminal courts charge, £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.


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