Dorothy’s Dream to carry on giving help

Ruth White (centre), Chief Executive of The Rowans Hospice, which has extended the Dorothy's Dream home visit scheme because of public support with home support staff left to right, Caroline Efthimiou, Zena Dawson, Jayne Litchfield, Lisa Oldham and Nikki Whyte''''Picture: Steve Reid (123373-718)
Ruth White (centre), Chief Executive of The Rowans Hospice, which has extended the Dorothy's Dream home visit scheme because of public support with home support staff left to right, Caroline Efthimiou, Zena Dawson, Jayne Litchfield, Lisa Oldham and Nikki Whyte''''Picture: Steve Reid (123373-718)

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A SCHEME giving terminally-ill people their final wish to pass away peacefully at home, will now become a permanent service.

In September last year the Rowans Hospice launched Dorothy’s Dream, which has been backed by The News from the start.

The whole Dorothy’s Dream appeal has been based on the famous line from The Wizard of Oz – ‘there’s no place like home’.

A £1m target was set to fund an 18-month pilot that is due to end in June next year.

So far, more than 300 families have been helped by the service and now a decision has been made to keep the service running after the pilot scheme ends.

Ian Young, honorary chairman of trustees, says: ‘I’m delighted to announce that the Rowans’ hospice at home service will continue, and that the board was unanimous in its decision.

‘We recognise that the pilot service has cared for more than 300 patients in 12 months.

‘And it is on the back of this success we have the confidence to take this bold decision. The community has never let us down and we cannot let them down.

‘We have a moral obligation to help the people we care for.’

The decision was welcomed by Carolyn Leaves, whose husband Garey, 57, was cared for by the hospice at home service.

As reported in The News, Garey was given just weeks to live after being diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

The diagnosis came in Benidorm, Spain, where the couple had been living for seven years after taking early retirement.

Garey had cancer in his pancreas, which had spread from his oesophagus.

They came back to England to Garey’s brother’s home in Kings Mede, Waterlooville.

From there a doctor referred the family to the Purbrook-hospice scheme.

With help from the service, Garey passed away surrounded by his friends and family.

Carolyn said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to discover hospice at home will be offered as a permanent service. The care and devotion shown by the nurses during my husband’s short illness was a great comfort at a very difficult time.

‘My husband was able to spend his final days at home, surrounded by his family, which would not have been possible without this charity.’

The hospice is still £100,000 short of its £1m target to fund the scheme until June.

After that the hospice must raise £500,000 annually.

The money goes towards hiring a team of 13 nurses and health care support workers – nine of which were new recruits taken on especially for the service.

Hospice at home is a 24/7 all-year round service for patients that will complement care provided by the NHS and social services. It is also supported by volunteers helping with errands in homes as well as others trained specifically to offer psychological support.

Families are referred to the service by medical staff like GPs. Erika Lipscombe, matron of the hospice, said: ‘We have witnessed first-hand the benefits to patients, carers and families of the hospice at home service.

‘All the team feel very privileged to be a part of the provision of hospice care in people’s own homes. We are so grateful to the community who have funded the service to support people in Portsmouth and south east Hampshire.’