Legacy left to Jersey Hospice Care to help secure the future care of patients and families
We are delighted to announce that we are one of three charities to have each received a very generous legacy of £6.6 million.
This legacy will help us to continue to provide specialist palliative care services to anyone with a life limiting condition and to ensure the high standard of care and support we give to anyone in the community who accesses our services.
It is extremely rare for any charity to receive a legacy of this size and we are very grateful to the benefactor.
Who left the money to Jersey Hospice Care?
While we don’t know much about the gentleman who left the legacy, or his reasons for leaving three charities an equal share of his estate, his generosity will be used to help islanders well into the future.
Legacies are a very powerful way in which benefactors can make a difference without it costing a penny during their lifetime. Leaving a legacy is a way of protecting and sustaining the free services we provide for the patients and families of the future. A typical legacy amount is between £1,000 and £10,000, with people occasionally leaving us an interest in property.
Who does Jersey Hospice Care help?
Jersey Hospice Care is now caring for more patients than ever.
We believe that everyone has the right to live well and to die without pain, with dignity and in a place of their choosing. Through the delivery of our services and our island-wide End of Life leadership and education role, we have been able to raise the standard of palliative care delivered by all healthcare providers in Jersey. We have seen a significant increase in the number of patients receiving care at Hospice and/or in a place of their choosing.
Records also show that in recent years there has been a marked decrease in the number of deaths at Jersey General Hospital, falling from 50% to 1 in 3. This has been achieved through the working relationship of HSSD and Jersey Hospice Care. It means that more people are dying in a place of their choosing. There has been a rise of some 20% in the number of people who die at Hospice and a similar rise in the number of deaths we have supported in home settings.
The decision in 2014 to open the doors to patients with any life limiting condition, not just cancer, has also had a huge impact as the number of patients who can access our services. Over 53% of our patients now have a non-cancer diagnosis; they may be suffering with heart disease or a serious respiratory condition or for example a severe eating disorder. In the past, this patient group would have received their care on a ward at the hospital.
Last year, 470 of our patients were cared for at home or in the community and over 1,000 visits were made to patients in the hospital. Throughout the year 360 people received one to one or group bereavement and emotional support counselling. Day Hospice had 60 attendees each week, accessing a wide range of our services and the support we offer (from clinical and emotional support, to sessions in the gym or with a complementary therapist or even a visit from the volunteer hairdresser). Each year, the numbers of people we support grows.
We have 12 en-suite bedrooms in our In Patient Unit. It has consistently high occupancy rates, with an average patient stay lasting 11-14 days, providing specialist care led by a team of highly qualified specialist palliative care nurses and doctors, which might more commonly be found elsewhere within an acute hospital setting. Patients come for specialist symptom control and management, which may include changes to their medication or treatment, as well as end of life care.
We have committed to extending all of our services to children and young people with life limiting conditions and their families. Last year saw us start with offering emotional support to this new patient group.
In addition, our staff support and enable many other organisations that provide care at the end of life to do so and to ensure that the standard of care given is as good as it could be, with every person having choice at the end of life. This is achieved through the End of Life leadership and education role we have.
What are our costs?
The budgeted costs for Jersey Hospice Care’s charitable activities in 2018 are £6.4m.
We rely almost entirely on donations from islanders and planned fundraising to meet our costs. About 8% of our expenditure is met by the States of Jersey, unlike in the UK where many of the essential public services we provide are funded by the NHS.
Each year, when we prepare the budget we have an anticipated deficit of approximately £1.7 million; the actual deficit has to be met from our reserves. A large legacy enables us to put money aside for this purpose and to reduce that annual deficit.
How will the money be spent?
At a time when demand for our services is expected to increase, legacies like this help to safe guard our future, allowing us to continue providing care to islanders for free.
Jersey Hospice Care has a strategic financial plan that is designed to stretch and increase fundraising. We have known that this legacy was coming for a year, which has allowed us to fund strategic projects. We have been able to buy land adjacent to Jersey Hospice Care, in order to enable us to co-locate on our existing site a specialist palliative care unit from where the wide range of Hospice services for children and young people can be delivered.
The money will also enable us to bump up our capital reserve and to make investments that will assist with the ongoing funding of Jersey Hospice Care’s annual expenses. Our expenditure is set to increase as the population rises and as we widen the remit of age groups we can care for, along with the level of complexity of the care provided by the highly specialist palliative team, whether at the hospital, at home or at Hospice.