SAINT Michael’s hospice in Harrogate has doubled the amount of patients it can care for across the district - 18 months ahead of schedule.
The hospice set out its five year strategy in 2007 with incoming chief executive Tony Collins and its supporters.
Its key aim of doubling the number of patients by the end of 2012 has now been achieved. The charity, which cares for people living with terminal illness and bereavement, has been keen to stress that the level of support from the community across the Harrogate district, including tens of thousands of passionate supporters, more than 600 volunteers and a dedicated staff, has made it happen. Mr Collins said: “This achievement is significant on so many levels. We are a patient-focused organisation and the fact we can now care for double the amount of patients coupled with new and enhanced services for more people in the area is far and away the most important part of this achievement.
“Mr Also in a business sense it is remarkable, especially when put in its wider economic context, and in a community, compassionate and charitable sense it is truly wonderful. “We are lucky to have incredible support. Saint Michael’s is at the forefront of people’s consciousness in the Harrogate district and without that community ownership we wouldn’t have been able to move so far forward so quickly. Mr Collins thanked everyone who had played their part.
He aims to see various groups and organisations to thank people personally and to outline the hospice’s plans for the future. He said: “We’ve shown just how much we can achieve with the support here and we must continue in the same vein and keep working hard to provide the best possible care we can for people in our community who are living with terminal illness and bereavement.” The strategy aimed for Saint Michael’s to have the capacity to care for 2,400 patients every year by 2012. In 2007 the figure was 1,200.
This has been achieved through more people than ever before benefiting from inpatient care, and the expansion of services such as day therapy and lymphoedema care. The charity also introduced new services such as planned respite care to help patients and their carers, a community bereavement support service, Just ‘B’, for children, young people and adults, and care for patients who want to stay in their own homes. Services like these have helped Saint Michael’s reach new patient and client groups in the area. Saint Michael’s has also diversified the variety of experts available to patients, with the team now including physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists amongst others now available to those requesting their expertise. Saint Michael’s needs £3.9m every year to maintain its levels of service and more than 80 per cent of that figure comes from gifts left by supporters in their wills, fundraising efforts and donations. Saint Michael’s is based on Hornbeam Park Avenue in Harrogate and cares for people from Harrogate, Ripon, Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge, and the surrounding areas.
Anyone interested in finding out more about how the strategy was achieved, how people can support the charity now and into the future can contact Saint Michael’s on (01423) 879 687.