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Campaigner says false impression being given for hospice closure

 Published on: 6th October 2018   |   By: Tim Green   |   Category: Uncategorized

The man leading the campaign to save the Michael Sobell Hospice says he believes the public are being given a false impression about why it is really being closed.

Terry Dean spoke out after he made a Freedom of Information Act Request to see a report of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust Divisional Executive Committee who discussed support for the relocation of the hospice in May this year.

The report is co-authored by Judi Byrne, chief executive of the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity (MSHC).

Three options for the future of the Hospice are set out. One suggests separating inpatient and day centre services and relocating within the existing cancer centre environment.

It’s suggested this could be done by moving the inpatient service in hospital wards and reducing the capacity from 16 to 10 beds and the report states this is the option supported by the charity and the trust.

However NorthwoodNews and other local media organisations quoted Mrs Byrne as saying its inappropriate and unsustainable to put palliative and end-of-life care on an acute cancer ward.

Mrs Byrne is also quoted as saying the charity was informed on the relocation of the inpatient unit and raised serious concerns with no alternative hospice setting ready to move to.

He commented: “How can she say that when she was one of the people who proposed it?”

A spokesman for the MSHC said the charity was briefed on the interim relocation of the unit and raised serious about the impact on patients.

He said: “The final decision was down to the trust’s management which runs the in-patient unit and is in charge of patients’ clinical care. We do not own the hospice building or land it is on nor do we employ the staff or provide the service – so while we can express our view strongly, ultimately the interim relocation was the only realistic option left open back in May.

“Our job now is to fight to protect inpatient and day services in a rebuilt, renovated or relocated Michael Sobell Hospice in the north of Hillingdon – with us ready to raise capital funds to back an achievable plan.

“We’re putting pressure on all the NHS leaders involved to put concrete proposals on the table by the end of 2018.”

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