Ben Gummer MP, the Minister for Care Quality, yesterday (Monday 15th February) visited St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle, one of two run by Cornish charity Cornwall Hospice Care. Senior staff at the charity took the opportunity to discuss two key issues, funding and the need to work more collaboratively with partners in the NHS.

The Minister was greeted by the charity’s Chief Executive, Paul Brinsley before being taken on a private tour of the care facilities by the Ward Sister Sam Pleasants who introduced him to a number of patients.

During his visit, the Minister also met with the charity’s Medical Director Dr Debbie Stevens, Dawn Tame-Battell who is the Director of Patient Services, and Lesley Ross, Chair of Trustees.

As Paul Brinsley explains, it was an important moment for Cornwall Hospice Care;

“We all had an opportunity to present our views around how we can work more effectively with the NHS community and hospital teams. This will ensure a more seamless journey for patients who need specialist end of life support. Hospices are keen to see integrated working in end of life care across the hospitals, community and hospices in Cornwall. We want to get involved, we have a huge amount of expertise and enthusiasm and a highly skilled workforce who can do so much to improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients.”

Photo 1: Ben Gummer MP is met by Paul Brinsley our Chief Executive. Photo 2: Ben Gummer MP signs in under in the watchful gaze of Sam Pleasants, Ward Sister/Unit Manager and Derek Thomas MP.

“I’m pleased to say that Mr Gummer listened very carefully to what we had to say and clearly understood the points that we were putting forward. He agreed that he would bear in mind our views in developing good quality end of life care in discussion with the NHS, both locally and nationally. I’m grateful to St Ives MP Derek Thomas who kindly arranged the visit and who has been working hard in parliament to support our hospices and the work of our charity as a whole. “

Ben Gummer, Minister for Care Quality, said;

“Everyone deserves good quality care at the end of their lives whether they die in a hospice, at home or in hospital. I came to St Julia's Hospice today at the request of Derek Thomas MP, who has been campaigning for improved palliative care services in Cornwall. I was privileged to meet some of the patients and it was clear to me that staff are delivering fantastic, compassionate care to local people living with life-limiting illnesses.”

Photo 2: Ben Gummer MP chatting with Christopher, one of the patients at St Julia's Hospice.  

Picture credit - Phil Monckton