NEW HOPE FOR COWAL HOSPICE
Last Updated on Friday, 21 October 2011 15:19 Written by Gordon Neish Monday, 03 October 2011 15:52
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The Palliative Care Implementation Group, charged with deciding the future of Dunoon’s Cowal Hospice, has delivered its verdict.
Campaigners had hoped for the re-opening of the hospice as a stand-alone unit, but this is not the recommendation that will be put forward to NHS Highland on October 26.
The group is recommending that Dunoon Hospital’s ward 1 be designated an inpatient palliative care and rehabilitation ward with four dedicated beds, in single rooms or double bays, with outlooks to the front of the hospital.
The hospice unit, the group recommend, is to be used for overnight ensuite accommodation and as a rest area for relatives and carers of palliative patients, with an internal stairway linking the unit with ward 1. The former hospice, it is proposed, will also be used as a ‘Maggies’ type day care centre for palliative patients, providing therapies and support.
Ward 2 is to become the acute/admissions ward and a single integrated nursing team is to be established. Nurses will rotate across both wards and will receive additional training.
Chair of the Palliative Care Implementation Group (PCIG), Lorna Ahlquist, said: “If the CHP does support our plan we will be talking to interested parties and holding a number of public events in November to go over the details of the developments in palliative care that are being recommended.
“Right from the beginning the hospice trust wanted something that was ‘as good as the hospice or better.’ Everyone on the PCIG adopted that approach and we hope that the expanded palliative care unit, with the hospice developing into a centre with a range of services and four large open rooms with a view, prove to be just what is needed.”
Hospice campaigner Sybil Baldwin sees merit in the proposals. She told the Standard: “This finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, that we will retain the four palliative care beds, and accommodation for the relatives and carers which is much needed, as often family members come from a long way off.
“I hope that it will not be too long before Cowal has once again a fully functioning Hospice, for which the community and the PCIG have fought long and hard to retain, and hope that the CHP will accept these recommendations, and allow them to go ahead and that this is never allowed to happen again.
“However if the CHP decided not to accept this I am more than prepared to continue the fight
“I await the outcome on October 26.”