City & Waterfront Awards

City & Waterfront Awards

If you took part in one of our flagship events, or love visiting our charity shops, make sure to cast your vote in the Herald City & Waterfront Awards 2017.

St Luke’s has been nominated in the following categories:

Best Customer Service – our city centre shop

Best Retailer (non-fashion) – Shabby Chic

Best Fashion Retailer (independent) – our city centre shop

Best Event (fewer than 5,000 visitors) – Men’s Day Out and our Neon Midnight Walk

Best Professional Services Business – St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth

Voting closes on Sunday 3 September, you can vote online here. The awards will be held on Thursday 26 October. Thank you!

St Luke's Physiotherapist

St Luke's Physiotherapist

Did you know that St Luke’s now has a physiotherapist?

Alison Carlyon joined St Luke’s at the beginning of July as our new physiotherapist.

Alison comes to St Luke’s with a wealth of experience working in a palliative care environment, having worked for Children’s Hospice South West since 2005.

Alison felt the decision to join the St Luke’s team was the natural next step for her.

“There is something about hospices,” she says, “time is a luxury there and the quality of care you can give someone really does make a difference, that is what drew me to St Luke’s.”

The role of a physiotherapist in palliative care is to help patients overcome their limitations in order to improve their quality of life. Physiotherapy can also help patients to manage and cope with difficult symptoms such as breathlessness and anxiety. Alison will be working with patients to help them with their movement and balance as they adapt to their changing condition, as well as providing guidance and advice to them and their family and carers to ensure that their pain is controlled and maximum comfort is maintained.

Alison, who is based over at Brooklands with the community team, describes her role as “supporting a patient the best you can in the worst possible situation.” She is working alongside our community team helping patients to be as comfortable as possible in the last months, weeks and days of life. Alison’s day to day involvement with patients can be anything from supporting mobility, chest treatments for respiratory problems, to positioning in the last days of life.

Alison will be spending time with patients in our specialist unit as well as out in the community, seeing people in their own homes and in her words, “supporting them to live as happily and as comfortably as possible”. She is also hoping to set up an outpatient clinic on a Thursday afternoon which will run via referrals.

Here at St Luke’s one of our key aims is to educate and empower our community to encourage everyone to play a part in providing quality end of life care. Our education team have proven that they are doing just that.

In a recent audit of the Six Steps Care Homes, it is clear that all our End of Life Champions have been working hard to maintain the End of Life Quality Markers. The following statistics show the improvements made in the quality of end of life care for patients that have died in a care home within a six month period between September 2016 – February 2017.

  • 100% had a Treatment Escalation plan in place
  • 80% had their preferred place of death met
  • 72% had an Advance Care Plan conversation recorded
  • 78% had Anticipatory Drugs in place

The audit also showed that care home staff are accessing services like GPs and specialist nurses less as they feel more skilled to manage end of life care.

When compared with the previous audit, which covered years one to three of the programme, the figures showed an increase across the end of life standards achieved for patients in the care homes.

Education and development manager Paula Hine said, “This has been really encouraging for all of us, it shows that our End of Life Care Champions are feeling more confident and empowered in their role within an end of life setting. The training and workshops that we run provide our champions and care home staff with the skills, knowledge and resources that they need in order to facilitate and care for someone who is approaching end of life and these figures show that they are achieving that.”

In addition the team run the End of Life Champions forum in which so far 121 End of Life Champions have attended. The session provides a forum where champions can ask questions and receive professional updates from guest speakers.

Head of education Gail Wilson was delighted at the audit findings which demonstrated even those homes that have been registered with the Six Steps programme for the last four to five years are maintaining their quality markers for end of life care. She said, “We can be proud of our Six Steps care homes, to meet these quality markers in such challenging times shows real commitment to the programme and the residents they care for.”

The St Luke’s Six Steps + programme is a series of workshops developed by the education team, designed to provide care homes and agencies with a toolkit to provide quality end of life care that meets CQC end of life essential standards. The course also provides staff with an ongoing commitment as an End of Life Care Champion, enabling them to share knowledge and skills to peers and colleagues. Along with the Six Steps + programme our education team have been running free training sessions in End of Life Care, providing care home and domiciliary care agency staff with an overview of end of life care tools and care in the last days of life. The next training session is on Wednesday 13 September between 2pm and 4pm at Turnchapel. For more information visit the courses page.

Crisis Team

It has been a year since the St Luke’s crisis team expanded their services out into East Cornwall and things are looking hopeful for the future of the pilot project.

The pilot initiative which was launched in August last year, saw us expand our care for terminally ill patients who need a 72 hour window of specialist help at home to stabilise symptoms, avoid any unnecessary admission to hospital or facilitate rapid discharge from hospital or our specialist unit.

The team has been working in close partnership with other community health and social care providers in East Cornwall to enhance end of life care services and offer solutions to crisis situations where a patient does not have care arrangements in place.

Crisis Team lead nurse, Sharon Smerdon said, “In the last year we have had a steady referral rate from East Cornwall and some very appropriate referrals to facilitate discharges from Derriford. Since June we have followed up discharges from the specialist unit and in August have started to follow up on those discharged from Derriford – this includes all patients known by the St Luke’s team in both the Western locality of NEW Devon and those in East Cornwall. We are still working with commissioners over funding for the continuation of the project and remain hopeful of this for the future.”

Since the expansion of our services last year our crisis team have also launched a Patient Centred Leadership project in East Cornwall, to encourage communities to come together in care by exploring new creative ways of building up a solid network of care for the patient. This involved developing a steering group, holding a two day programme for the nurses of the crisis team and three community nurses from Cornwall and developing processes and paperwork to assist with identifying patients and carer networks and enabling them to deliver end of life care themselves.

Accumulator Challenge

How much money can you raise in one month?

St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is asking local businesses and organisations to get creative with their money making skills during October in its latest fundraising challenge.

The local charity is inviting teams to take part in its Accumulator Challenge, a month long challenge to raise as much money for the charity from an initial £50.

Every team that signs up will be given a £50 note and one month to find interesting and innovative ways of gaining as much profit as possible, all of which will be donated to St Luke’s.

St Luke’s corporate fundraiser Nicola Keen said, “Our Accumulator Challenge is an exciting and creative way for teams to work together to raise money for St Luke’s. We are inviting companies and organisations to get involved and see how much money they can make with their £50. You could run fundraising events, auction items, invest the £50 on the stock market, set sporting challenges or organise social activities to raise funds. There are so many great reasons to sign up, not only will you be helping to support over 3,480 patients locally every year, but it is a fantastic opportunity to boost teamwork and morale in your organisation.”

The challenge begins with a drinks reception in September at PL1 Restaurant and will be hosted by students at City College Plymouth. Teams will then have from 1 – 31 October to make as much profit from their £50 as possible. The winning team who have managed to raise the most amount money will then be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 8 November.

Last year the 10 local businesses who took part in the Accumulator Challenge raised £9,340 for patient care. This money makes a real difference to patients of St Luke’s in the last months, weeks and days of life. At home, in hospital or at their specialist unit in Turnchapel, the money raised from the Accumulator Challenge helps St Luke’s to continue to provide specialist care for patients and give vital support to their families.

If you think your company or business has what it takes, then contact St Luke’s at corporate@stlukes-hospice.org.uk or call 01752 964414 to sign up your team.

Visit the Accumulator Challenge page online.

Angus Black

Angus Black

Singing, acting and fundraising – it all comes naturally to one of our junior fundraisers.

Unlike most eleven-year-olds, Angus Black from Gunnislake has spent his weekends busy fundraising for St Luke’s at our Open Gardens.

If you have attended one of our Open Gardens this year you may have spotted Angus lending a helping hand by helping his granny sell St Luke’s merchandise and plants and even entertaining garden visitors with his singing.

Angus was inspired to help out after following in the footsteps of his granny and one of our community fundraising ambassadors, Sue Crocker. Sue’s husband Richard spent his final days being cared for in our specialist unit 10 years ago.

Angus’ mum Annaliese Plowright said, “He has always been a compassionate young man, but he just gets so much enjoyment out of helping. He never knew Richard, so this is a way that he can feel connected to him and feel that he is doing something in his memory as well as for all the people who are currently using St Luke’s services. He has had a tour of the specialist unit and seen the work that St Luke’s does, so he knows exactly how the money he raises can help people.”

So far Angus’ impressive fundraising has raised £710 for patient care. Angus was thanked personally by St Luke’s CEO Steve Statham when he visited our specialist unit at Turnchapel last month.

His amazing dedication and support to St Luke’s over the Open Gardens season will come to an end in September as our season closes but Angus has said his fundraising will not stop then. However he will have to fit it in around his busy schedule, as he is also currently acting in the new series of ITV’s Doc Martin. But he says he would be delighted to continue to help raise as much as he can to help us to deliver our care to those in need.

St Luke’s community fundraiser Wayne Marshall said, “Angus has been such a star at our Open Gardens, sitting beside his granny and helping her to sell all our St Luke’s merchandise, as well as providing visitors with plenty of entertainment! It is fantastic that someone of his age has taken such a proactive role in helping St Luke’s. We hope that many more children will be inspired by Angus and want to fundraise for St Luke’s as well, whether they are a similar age or if someone in their family may have used our service before, like in Angus’ case it could become a way of connecting with loved ones lost. They could ultimately become a representative for St Luke’s in their school or local community and we would provide them with plenty of fundraising support along the way.”

St Luke’s Open Gardens are sponsored by McClure Solicitors.