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The Focus on Living Team has seen many changes since the pandemic hit but they are thrilled to be back, offering face to face small group sessions and one to ones.

Carole Taylor, Coordinator of Therapeutic Activities said:

“It’s lovely to welcome back some old faces and welcome some new ones now we are running small group sessions again in the Focus On Living Centre. It has been a very tough two years for our patients, most of whom have been shielding, many living on their own with very limited social contact. We’ve maintained telephone support with our patients during Covid-19 restrictions but people are very pleased to be able to return to the Hospice for peer support as well as benefitting from our therapeutic group and one to one support.”

Covid-19 gave us the opportunity to look at how Focus on Living was working and what our patients really needed from the service, during that time we’ve also changed the team structure and what we offer. We remained open throughout and the number of patients coming on site is slowly increasing. Davina Radford (Spiritual Care Lead) leads the therapeutic side of things and Jennifer Saunderson (Sister) heads up Ambulatory Care and the nursing side. Davina said:

“These new ways of working have meant we can be much more flexible and recognise that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. We are there to support patients physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually in whatever way best suits them.

The team that I lead is made up of complementary therapists, a therapeutic activities coordinator, music therapist, physios, social workers, occupational therapists and patient support volunteers. Our main priority is looking after the emotional wellbeing of our patients through therapeutic activities. During the pandemic the patients went through a lot so we’re working with them to provide the support that they really want and need now.

I’m really excited about the care and support we’re able to offer and the way the team and services are developing. Having patients back on-site is fantastic, they get so much out of being together and talking about their illness with people who can relate and know exactly how they feel. I feel honoured to work with the team and patients and I’m looking forward to developing new things we can offer in the near future.”

What happens at the Focus on Living Centre?

More than you might think! Sessions include Fatigue Management, Breathlessness, Tripudio exercise, Relaxation, Wellbeing Taster Sessions, Music Therapy and more. Care is holistic and tailored to the patient’s needs.

Amongst other changes, we’ve adapted our complementary therapy service so now the therapists often go out and give treatments at home. Some patients, especially those who are very frail, prefer this as it means they don’t have to travel to the Hospice and can be comfortable in their own surroundings.

What’s next?

We hope to continue to develop what we offer and welcome more patients through our doors. Some of the areas used for group sessions are outdated and no longer ideal so we hope to secure funding to create a flexible, bright, modern and welcoming space which looks and feels like part of a wellbeing centre.

Watch this space for more details!