The first charity launched to specifically support specialist palliative care for patients in hospital , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To summarise the words of PATCH medical director, Dr. Pamela Levack;
“PATCH’s mission is to ensure that every patient, in every Scottish hospital can be confident that they will receive specialist palliative care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if they need it”.
The need for a charity like PATCH was first established 8 years ago by the bedside of a very ill patient, in a noisy, busy, surgical ward. The patient was sore and feeling sick and he had just received bad news from his consultant. It was at this point, as the patient buckled with pain, trying to absorb this difficult news, that his wife said “there has to be a better way than this”. These words ignited the challenge to provide that extra layer of care in hospital. A specialist palliative care unit. Thanks to the kind people of Tayside, enough money was raised to allow NHS Tayside to provide a 3 bedded acute palliative care unit, which opened in 2009. The unit was designed to offer intensive, short-stay palliative care to patients in need. State of the art symptom control was and continues to be carried out by a team of palliative specialists including; doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, a complementary therapist and pharmacist on a daily basis at Ninewells Hospital.
With your help, this standard of care will become available to those who need it in all hospitals throughout Scotland.
What is Palliative Care?
First established in 1967 as a new speciality at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, palliative care refers to the active, all-round care of patients whose disease or illness is not responsive to curative treatment. The role of the palliative care team is to manage a patient’s pain relief and symptoms, and to offer psychological, social and spiritual support. In other words, the role of a palliative care team is to enhance a patient’s quality of life at a time when days, hours and minutes are precious.
Why is PATCH important?
It is an unfortunate fact of life that at some point or another, we ourselves, a family member, loved one or friend will be told bad news. The treatment isn’t responding, there is no cure, death is imminent. This heart-breaking news is difficult to accept, we wouldn’t be human if such news was easy to digest. Whilst charities like PATCH cannot change the outcomes for patients, they can enhance the time which a patient has left, through the provision of high quality palliative care.
At present, 55% of people die in hospital and only a minority of these patients who could benefit from palliative care are fortunate enough to receive it. Most of those who are lucky enough to receive it, have access to this form of care for 25% of the week at best. The majority of palliative care teams work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, but unfortunately pain does not retreat for the night after working hours and stress does not rest in the small hours of the morning. Those diagnosed with a disease or illness which is deemed unresponsive to curative treatment must often endure extensive periods of time with pain and suffering, in the absence of a holistic, palliative care unit. This is why PATCH is important. PATCH can offer respite to patients and families when they need it most, through the development of palliative care services throughout Scotland.
The Power of Donations
By pledging a donation to PATCH, or participating in a fundraising event, your money will go some way toward bettering the lives of those in need of palliative care.
A £50 donation could provide a patient with two hours of complementary therapy.
A £500 could provide 10 sessions of physiotherapy, which in turn will assist a patient to go home.
A £5000 donation could provide a hospital with two months’ worth of palliative care pharmacy input.
A £10, 000 donation could provide a hospital with a fully staffed, PATCH palliative care bed for six weeks.
A £25, 000 donation could provide a patient with care from a palliative care nurse for 6 months.
A £150, 000 donation would fund a fully staffed PATCH, palliative care bed within a hospital for one year.
All donations, both great and small, help to ensure that high quality palliative care is available for the majority of patients in Scotland rather than the minority. Supporting PATCH ensures that in future, we will all receive the care we deserve, during our last months of our lives. There is no greater investment.