Please support our Coronavirus appeal

Mountbatten’s chief executive has warned the charity could be forced to cut future services, as it stands to lose at least £1 million due to the coronavirus.

Nigel Hartley said cancelled fundraising events and shops closures meant Mountbatten needs even more support from the community to help protect hospice services.

The warning comes despite a host of new and extended services introduced by Mountbatten to support the Island’s health and social care system through the pandemic.

“Potentially, we are facing a huge loss of income and we are really concerned about what that could mean for us in the future,” said Nigel.

“We currently have no other place to go for help than to our local community.

“Despite that, we still have to use our extensive expertise around end of life care to help our Island through this virus, as this is absolutely the right thing to do.

“We are responding to the need that is there right now because this virus sits at the heart of our business of death, dying and bereavement, but for us to do that, and continue our usual work caring for people who are still dying without coronavirus, we need help.

“We cannot have an Island without Mountbatten, and it is an increasing reality we will have to scale back services In the future, unless the Island community can donate what they can now to make the difference in the weeks and months ahead.”

In the last two weeks, Mountbatten’s community teams have increased visits to people’s homes, including care and support for those with Covid-19 symptoms, working under new safety measures to prevent the spread of the illness.

Meanwhile, its end of life care team working at St Mary’s Hospital continues to support patients and Mountbatten’s hospital team has extended its service to cater for more NHS beds, which will be available for people dying with the coronavirus.

Mountbatten is also training staff and volunteers from the NHS, together with members of the public, to develop end of life care skills and knowledge.

A series of videos have been produced to show simple tasks, such as putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) safely, the proper way to ensure good hand hygiene and infection control and how to support people who are dying and bereaved. 

“It is clear as the number of cases rise, and pressure on the system builds, all of us will need to be prepared to care for our loved ones at home,” said Nigel.

“By offering training for people now, we hope they will feel more confident. Our specialist medical consultants have also worked hard to agree new and secure processes for access to end of life care pain and symptom control.”

A new 24/7 Keep Connected helpline has received many calls from worried Islanders, particularly during the night. 

The service is being delivered by Mountbatten volunteers and staff who are working from home and provides a friendly voice and a listening ear to anyone who feels isolated or has been recently bereaved. 

A separate helpline, staffed by Mountbatten’s expert psychology and bereavement team, has been set up for frontline healthcare workers who need support and counselling through the coronavirus pandemic.

Islanders are also being reminded of their future care options, with Mountbatten’s Advanced Care Plan designed for anyone to express their wishes and preferences for their care, should they become unable to communicate.

“We must try to help everyone as we make our way through new and unprecedented challenges,” Nigel added.

“It is an anxious time for us all and despite growing our services, our work must continue as usual.

“People dying without the coronavirus will come to the end of their life more isolated and more afraid. Their families cannot visit them or take time to say goodbye. It is essential our expert staff continue to visit people within their own homes at this time, as well as supporting our Island system to face the current challenges.

“Each and every one of us has a duty to help minimise the spread of this virus and to keep our staff safe so we can meet the growing demand, while continuing to care for people in the normal way.”

A special section, COVID-19 advice, has been set up on Mountbatten’s website where training, information and resources will continue to be added.

“We need your support more than ever,” concluded Nigel.

“Please donate what you can to help us get through the current crisis and to ensure we are here for our Island community into the future.”

Please support our Coronavirus appeal