Living Well at Jecca’s House
This month we hear from Helen Makaritis, CEO Campden Home Nursing, who were winners of the Cluer HR Team of the Year Award at the 2021 Concierge Medical Business and Young Entrepreneurs Awards.
In this article Helen provides us with an update on the work of this well–respected and much-loved local charity.
This is my seventh year working with Campden Home Nursing and, without a doubt, the last two years have been the most challenging. A national pandemic on an unprecedented scale has created an unpredictable landscape, bringing death, loneliness, and fear to many.
Two years on, the NHS is experiencing continued stress, which in turn impacts small charities who the NHS is turning to in order to fill some of the gaps in care. It is no longer the case that charities like ours operate as entirely independent bodies.
NHS demands on hospice services and time have grown substantially. I now spend many hours a week on calls with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) where we all collaborate to provide a better end of life service in the community. It is a way of working that is unrecognisable from where we were, even two years ago. The positive side of this is that the tougher it gets, the deeper the team dig. We came together in 2021 with increased strength and passion to deliver our mission – to provide free holistic, palliative care to those in our geographic area, who are touched by a life limiting illness from diagnosis, through to bereavement support.
Here’s what 2021 looked like for us in numbers.
Despite the external landscape, Campden Home Nursing has continued to forge ahead with its plans for expansion, and completed another year, having accomplished growth in all areas. The strong and driven team, led by senior managers, have continued to operate with dedication and passion to deliver the highest standards of service adhering to the CQC guidelines, (the clinical version of Ofsted) focusing on governance and audit. We try to ensure that every family we meet feels we have made a positive difference during their hardest time. I am happy to say that 99% of our families feel this way.
Hospice at Home remains our core service. Keeping people at home at the end of life was the primary aim of our founder, Jecca Brook, and we continue to honour that. Thankfully, due to the legacy received at the end of 2017, and the continued support from local donors and families we have nursed, we have been able to continue to expand our care provision with the growth of our bereavement counselling service.
In the midst of the pandemic, while many charities were sadly closing their day provision, we opened Jecca’s House, a ‘living well’ Centre for Campden and the North Cotswolds, providing cancer support and any other care needed for patients or carers who are touched by a life limiting illness. In the last 12 months, through the living well centre at Jecca’s House, we have offered a gardening group, art and crafting classes, relaxation groups, a scrap booking group, carers lunches, community coffee mornings and Cancer Survivors groups. We also provide free will writing and benefits advice.
Figure 1: Patients, carers and the bereaved attend a craft workshop at our Living Well Centre at Jecca’s House.
Our focus in 2022-2023, after 5 years of planned but rapid growth, will not be major change, but continued growth to strengthen what we already have and build upon the living well centre, now some of the Covid restraints are lifted. We aim to continue to provide the highest standard of palliative care to as many families as possible in the communities we serve.
If you have any questions or are interested in what we offer in Jecca’s House then please call and arrange a visit I would be very happy to show you what we do there.
I am so incredibly proud of all members of the team; at how we pulled together and continued to look after our families and each other in testing times. Winning the Cluer HR Team of the Year award was a very special moment for us all, recognising our wonderful nursing team in the community, and also the staff team behind the scenes. We display our award with pride!