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.

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.

After 50 weeks rollover, we have our record breaking £10,000 jackpot lottery winner!

Congratulations to 86 year old Jean Higginson from Estover.

Here’s the moment nurse Teresa went to hand over the big cheque.

Thank you to everyone who supports our weekly lottery. Since 1994 you have helped raise over £10 million for patient care. That’s enough to care for an incredible 10,000 patients at home.

Could you be our next big winner? Our lottery is now available to play online from £1 per week.

We are giving away a guaranteed £10,000 this week (Friday 4 August 2017) in our weekly lottery draw.

You have until 5pm on Thursday 3 August to be entered for this weeks jackpot. Instant play is available online now from £1 a week. The big cash prize is the result of our weekly rollover having not been won for a record breaking 50 weeks. Gambling regulations cap the rollover at £10,000 meaning the money must be won by this Friday, 4 August 2017.

Play online here from £1

Our lottery is also celebrating a milestone, having raised £10 million for patient care since the lottery first began 23 years ago.

In raising £10,006,140 since 1994 , our lottery alone has generated enough profit to enable our St Luke’s nurses, social workers and therapists deliver care for the equivalent of 10,000 patients who are living with life-limiting illnesses at home.

St Luke’s lottery manager Lesley Coulton, said, “The lottery relies completely on the good will and commitment of all those ‘silent heroes’ who over the years have supported St Luke’s by giving just £1 per week. It is thanks to all of you that our lottery is where it is today, providing vital funds for patient care. Our aim is to reach 14,000 players by August, the more people playing our lottery, the more patients we can care for, at home, in hospital and at our specialist unit at Turnchapel. Each year our lottery raises £430,000 for patient care, this makes it possible for us to provide care for terminally ill patients and their families that need our care and support.”

Every year the St Luke’s lottery gives out 1,664 cash prizes to the lucky winners, with players in with a chance of winning prizes of £1,000, £200 or £10 every week. What’s even better is that if you play the St Luke’s lottery for a year, you have a one in eight chance of winning a prize as opposed to the National Lottery where the odds are one in 54!

Instant play available here, from £1. Over 18’s only.

Jackie Gale Fun on the Hoe

Jackie Gale Fun on the Hoe

A work of art is set to brighten the walls of our specialist unit, thanks to a kind donation from a local artist and former nurse.

Jackie Gale, a former intensive care unit nurse at Derriford, created the beautiful work of art, which features last year’s St Luke’s forget-me-not flower remembrance display on Plymouth Hoe.

The original masterpiece, which is aptly titled ‘Fun on the Hoe’, took two weeks to produce and is made up of mixed textiles including hessian, sail cloth, velvet and canvas. As well as the forget-me-not flower remembrance display, it features Smeaton’s Tower, plenty of boats out on the water, an RAF Rescue helicopter and not forgetting the all important ice cream van!

Jackie has kindly donated a limited edition print of the artwork for display at our specialist unit, in a canvas frame that has been donated by Artframe Solution of Plymouth. The limited edition print, which is one of 50 being produced, will be installed outside our single rooms, Citadel, Smeaton and Drake to brighten up the hallway.

Jackie, who created the piece of art from her studio in Ermington, said, “St Luke’s specialist unit up at Turnchapel is in such a beautiful setting overlooking the Hoe, it seemed a natural place to showcase this colourful and fun piece of art. As a former nurse myself, I understand the brilliant care St Luke’s provides to the people in our community and just how cheerful and bright the unit is for patients and visitors. It’s my contribution to help raise a bit of money and bring a smile to all who visit.”

Jackie’s special edition prints are available from www.jackiegaletextileart.com. With each purchase, 20% of the cost will be donated to St Luke’s.

Amanda Vincent St Luke's Volunteer

Amanda Vincent St Luke's Volunteer

Our specialist unit at Turnchapel is currently recruiting for care volunteers.

The unit is looking to take on volunteers with a background in care to support the work of the nurses and care assistants on the unit.  Anyone who has previous experience in care, perhaps someone who has retired from nursing might be suitable for the role.

Head of Inpatient Nursing Services at our specialist unit, Nicola Pereira said, “It’s all about adding value to what we currently do, by having extra people around it gives us more resources, meaning more time can be spent with the patients.”

Nurse Iain Mitchell is coordinating the volunteers and is currently looking to take on approximately six to eight volunteers to help out throughout the week. Volunteers are also being sought to offer hand and nail therapy to the patients, giving them the chance for a spot of pampering!

Amanda Vincent has been volunteering on the unit once a week since April. Now retired, Amanda spent 45 years as a registered nurse, working all over the world. She spent seven years working as a nurse in the army, serving in Hong Kong and Northern Ireland and in 1999 she moved down to Plymouth where she worked on the Dockyard in Occupational Health.

“I had been out of hands on nursing for 20 years and as I am now retired I thought I would like to actually use my skills”, she said.

Amanda’s role can include ‘anything and everything’ she says, from bed baths, helping to give out food to the patients at mealtimes and changing beds to just sitting with patients to keep them company.

“For anyone thinking about volunteering, do it!” said Amanda. “I would say to absolutely give it a go, as it works both ways, not only is it a benefit for me, but also to the staff working here too.”

If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer at our specialist unit, they should contact our volunteer department at volunteer@stlukes-hospice.org.uk or call 01752 401172.