Thirty years on, St Catherine’s mission stays same

Matron Elizabeth Swarbrick lays a dedication stone 1997
Matron Elizabeth Swarbrick lays a dedication stone 1997
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Over the past 30 years, St Catherine’s has grown in size and developed in many different ways and new directions.

The charity’s fundamental purpose today remains what it always has been – to help people affected by life-shortening conditions like cancer, heart failure and motor neurone disease to have quality of life and dignity in death.

'I DON'T THINK I WOULD HAVE MADE IT': Patient Pat McKie with nurse Lizzie Millet at St Catherine's

'I DON'T THINK I WOULD HAVE MADE IT': Patient Pat McKie with nurse Lizzie Millet at St Catherine's

In 1985, this centred on day therapy and soon after the in-patient unit, as well as two specialist nurses who had started visiting people at home at the end of 1984.

But in 2015, this has grown to include a whole team of clinical nurse specialists working in the community who, between them, care for up to 225 people at home each day; a lymphoedema clinic called The Woodside; a homecare partnership working with domiciliary care agency Right At Home, which provides assistance to help people stay at home longer and return home from hospital or the hospice sooner; and a busy education department which runs study sessions, training courses and work placements to help spread the hospice’s specialised skills further into the community.

The most recent innovation, which launched last November, was the opening of The Mill – a café and community hub in St Catherine’s Park, which also includes a beautiful sensory garden and a developing wetland and woodland area.

St Catherine’s chief executive Stephen Greenhalgh said: “This fantastic resource, benefits people on many levels – from a friendly face offering welcome advice, to a place to ‘come back to and reflect’ or just to meet friends, host a business meeting or attend a yoga class.

“We want The Mill to be a source of inspiration that removes anxieties about hospice care.”

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