Hospice in-patient unit to reopen

2015-04-30 14:58

Di van Dyk, South Coast Hospice CEO.

PHOTO: FILE Di van Dyk, South Coast Hospice CEO.

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THE South Coast Hospice will reopen its Kingfisher House in-patient unit this week.

CANDYCE KRISHNA caught up with Hospice CEO, Di van Dyk, to find out what the future holds for the unit.

CK: When did Kingfisher House close down, and why?

DvD: Kingfisher House in-patient unit closed in May 2014 due to insufficient funding.

CK: What happened to staff at the unit?

DvD: Unfortunately, the staff were retrenched. Fortunately most found employment at other facilities.

CK: When will Kingfisher reopen?

DvD: In May.

CK: How was the reopening made possible?

DvD: The reopening was made possible by restructuring the existing South Coast Hospice programmes, further retrenchments of staff, some of the staff volunteered to decrease their salaries, and a response from the community, both in cash and kind.

CK: Will new staff be employed?

DvD: No new staff will be employed and we make an urgent appeal for the assistance of volunteers.

CK: At what capacity will Kingfisher be run?

DvD: Initially the in-patient unit will open with four beds and be supported by a day-care facility which will allow patients on our programme to come in for assessments and other clinical and therapeutic treatments. Dr André Nell, our medical officer, despite the in-patient unit being closed, has continued to consult with patients from Kingfisher House and this valuable service to our patients will continue.

CK: How does Hospice feel about the reopening?

DvD: We are extremely excited as we know there is a great need for palliative care and also with the in-patient unit being closed the overworked Hospice home teams have had an extra load to bear. With the in-patient unit opening, intensive care and respite will take place. Our hope is that we continue to receive support for the in-patient unit and not be faced with last year’s dilemma.

CK: How do families or patients get onto a Hospice programme?

DvD: Dr Nell requires a letter of referral for patients to be admitted to our programmes. These come from the patient’s hospital, clinic, doctor or specialist. Many people are of the impression that Hospice care is a last resort, however, it is beneficial for the patient and their family to come onto the programme for palliative care in the early stages of their illness as the journey of cancer, HIV/Aids and motor neuron disease needs support and compassionate care. This is palliative care. We thank the community for supporting our fundraising efforts and are extremely grateful

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