We have been living in hugely different times which are likely to continue and possibly change for at least the immediate future as every attempt is made to manage and mitigate the spread of the current pandemic.
I count myself lucky and privileged as a key worker to have the chance to get out regularly to go to work in hospital, being allowed to continue to treat patients albeit in very altered circumstances.
The Charity has had to adapt to a new and evolving landscape with meetings carried out virtually through video links and for a period of time our support staff working from their own homes, and the nurses have the added challenge of coping with uncomfortable Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when visiting patients.
It is a great credit to the nursing team led by Gemma Roberts that they have continued to deliver care at home during this crisis, well supported by our management team who have developed policies and sourced adequate PPE to ensure the safety of patients and our staff.
During recent months, the number of patients looked after and dying at home has increased compared to last year, and since April all patients in our care, have died in their own homes. It remains to be seen if this trend continues when normal services try to restore in hospitals and General Practice. Our aim, as always is to meet this continued demand with the high quality support patients and carers deserve.
As a result, of the social distanced lives we now lead, income from community events and associated local fundraising has all but ceased as events are either cancelled or postponed. This is most obviously demonstrated by the postponement of the Circus Ball which was due to take place in June. Not only is this a loss of much needed regular income but also missed opportunities to publicise and promote our services. We have been fortunate however to receive some financial support from Government via Hospice UK plus several very generous local bequests and donations for which we are profoundly grateful. Our investments have, as you might expect, suffered in the global economic downturn but there is some confidence from fund managers that these will recover in the medium term to pre-Covid levels
For the future, to maintain sustainable income and the current level of service we offer, we are exploring additional sources of funding including grants from trusts, legacies, increased regular giving and online donations through JustGiving, Virgin Money and several other sites all of which can be viewed at www.shipstonhomenursing.co.uk/donate/
Our website and the regular email communications we send out will keep you updated on our plans for reactivating local events, when it is possible to do so.
Finally, June 2020 was a significant date in our calendar with the retirement from the Board of Trustees of one of its founder members, Charlie Wells. Charlie has been an ever present source of inspiration and commitment to us and contributed to many roles, using her nursing and caring background for the benefit of the Charity and of course, the patients. We all owe Charlie a deep debt of gratitude and we will endeavour to continue to deliver her original ambition to give the best possible care to our patients.
Chairman of Trustees