The new-look Grove House will be open for small group sessions again from June. Thanks to a successful fundraising campaign backed by local people, companies and grant-giving organisations, a full refurbishment was completed last summer and the facility had been all set to open from September 2020, before rising cases and COVID-19 restrictions caused delays.
Patient Services Manager Poppy Montgomery-Ward explains: “We’re so excited to be back after such a long, enforced break. We know our patients are really keen to return too! Some have never been inside Grove House and many haven’t seen the new-look rooms.”
Our Day Services team has been able to keep caring for patients and supporting families during lockdowns, but had to adjust how it delivered those services to keep everyone safe. Clinicians were able to see people on an individual basis at Grove House for specialist nurse clinics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and family support. Some services moved online, such as yoga and wellbeing classes and even some complementary therapies. For example, expert volunteers were able to support people to carry out their own scar massage.
Poppy adds: “As we weren’t able to welcome patients into Grove House, our clinicians spoke to and even visited patients in their own homes instead. The Day Services team made 3,474 phone calls to patients, 594 visits to patients’ homes and held 194 individual face-to-face sessions at Grove House last year.
Some services will still be offered virtually, but group sessions bring so many other therapeutic benefits, says Poppy. “Discussing shared experiences in person can be so beneficial for patients and their families.”
Re-launching Day Hospice as its Living Well Service, we plan to ease everyone back in with three shorter days per week initially, working towards full days by the end of the summer, and larger groups once social distancing measures are relaxed completely.
“We have exciting plans for new services too,” says Poppy, “such as group sessions for children with life-limiting conditions, hosted by our new play specialist. But for now, we’re just so pleased we can get back to where we were before the pandemic.”