It comes as a dreadful surprise that funding for the Hospice movement is under threat.
To some, this might seem yet another ordinary ‘cut’ to a sector of the NHS that should take its turn like everything else. After all Hospices are places that are primarily involved in end of life care, and this surely is not as important as the prevention of chronic illness and the prevention of diseases. Further the Hospice movement is well supported by the voluntary sector which the rest of the NHS is not.
If, the general population had shared the benefits of Hospice care then these attitudes surely could not survive.
I lost my beloved son to cancer and drugs and later wrote a little book about those dreadful times, the one thing that shone through was the compassion and care that we all experienced from St. Richard’s Hospice. I wrote as follows, which I hope gives an insight into the difference that the Hospice movement makes. It is so precious, the movement involves the best of the best, exemplifies all that is best about our human race and is beyond price.
(From ‘My Boy’ – a memoir):
“We’ve only been in this place half a day, and I’ve learned so much. It’s as if that in his suffering and his situation, there is another dimension, I can sense it but not experience it; but at least I am aware of it. I know that for some time I have studiously avoided discussing the future, but the dilemma is greater than simply that. It is a question of living in the moment and cherishing each one as eternal. This sounds pretentious, but it makes sense to me, and the thought defines what it is I can do for my boy. These people in this wonderful hospice understand this, and their ‘strap line’; “Caring for life” is what they are all about. To do this is beyond most of us. Yet, here is a team of diverse but devoted people, who care for the fragments of terminally ill people’s lives, and together generate such a generosity of spirit that is truly in another dimension from everyday life.”
So please, whoever you are, wherever you are, fight for your local hospice.