Chief Executive’s Message
A word from our Chief Executive – Helen Brown
Wirral Hospice St John’s has been delivering compassionate care and enabling support for people with complex life-limiting conditions for forty years now. (The hospice’s 40th anniversary was 24th June, 2023!)
Our hospice has, of course, been more than 40 years in the making.
Inspired by the acclaimed founder of the modern hospice movement, Dame Cicely Saunders, our own founding group spent a number of years, from the mid 1970’s, planning, engaging volunteers and supporters to fundraise and, when everything was in place, recruited an experienced and motivated team of nurses, doctors and other allied health professionals to be in a strong position for our official opening on 24th June, 1983.
Everything was built on providing a haven where people with, in those days, predominantly, cancer, could be given the most compassionate care and support to live out their final days as comfortably and pain-free as possible.
Nowadays, with the continuing support of our whole Wirral community, we have expanded our care and support to help people with a whole range of life-limiting conditions, including cancer, COPD, motor neurone disease and other heart, liver and kidney diseases, to live as well as possible with these incurable illnesses.
We passionately believe that a life-limiting diagnosis should not limit, as far as is practically possible, a person’s quality of life.
We provide compassionate care for patients within our inpatients ward, outpatients’ clinics, Wellbeing Centre (day services) and Hospice at Home, as well as a complementary range of patient and family support services.
Our services are completely free of charge to everyone who uses them. This is due, in large part, to the continued generosity of the people of Wirral, individuals and organisations, who make a massive contribution through fundraising activities and events, donating money directly, in legacies and/or giving hours of their precious time every year.
We’re also held in high esteem by our colleagues in the health professions. We work in collaboration with our colleagues in health; Wirral NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), our local GP practices, Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH), charities like Marie Curie and MacMillan and Wirral’s community nurses and matrons. Through such cooperation, the very best medical and clinical practise for people with incurable illnesses is discussed, shared and implemented, to hospice standards, in other settings where agreed and appropriate.
Looking a little further forward we recognise that complex changes taking place in the health sector will bring challenges, particularly financial, to meet an anticipated increase in demand for our services. We’re very hopeful therefore that the fiscal position we have achieved through sound planning over recent years will still allow some prudent funding for further development, so that our services will further benefit our whole community.
We are continuing to build on the vision and commitment of our founding group which brought people from all across our community together.
To everyone, staff, trustees, ambassadors, volunteers and our wonderful supporters, individuals and organisations, then and now, we are so grateful to you and all those who will help us to meet our goals in the future.
Helen Brown, Chief Executive
Wirral Hospice St John’s