HOSPICE supporters are rallying to the cause to protect a lifeline provision for palliative care patients after the service was hit by a shortfall in funding.
Supporters of St Teresa’s Hospice have passed the halfway point of a £30,000 appeal for the Darlington Community Rapid Response Team, ensuring terminally ill patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
The 24/7 provision, which operates 365 days a year, responds to patients in the community within an hour of their call providing palliative nursing care, symptom management, crisis management and pain relief, as well as a hand to hold and a give listening ear.
St Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “We are an independent charity and we rely on donations and the support of our communities to provide all of our services free of charge.
“We receive some funding towards our work, including the Rapid Response Team, but we must negotiate for this and it cannot always be guaranteed. Our pioneering Rapid Response service was developed by and is run by the hospice. It is part-commissioned by the Darlington Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS) which provides funding for 50 per cent of this facility. Unfortunately, a separate charitable grant to the hospice ceased to be available from April this year.
“There was no immediate risk to the Rapid Response Team, or patients currently accessing the service, and plans to raise the £30,000 needed to cover the shortfall are currently in place via our funding appeal.”
To date St Teresa’s has received £17,250 in one-off donations from just 211 donors, and, with other funding, expects to raise over £25,000 before the end of the year.
All funds raised by the appeal will go directly towards the Rapid Response Team.