Our perception of what a hospice does is slowly changing. However, from time to time, I still see guests visiting City Hospice tentatively looking for beds at our centre in Whitchurch.

City Hospice is not a bedded unit. Instead, we offer care and support to our patients in their own homes. For those well enough, they come to our centre to see our doctors, nurses, occupational therapist and much more.

There is research to suggest that more and more people wish to be cared for and want to die at home. That’s why we spend time understanding the preferences of those we care for and where they wish to be treated. We then work with patients and their families to support this choice. When you consider it, this makes perfect sense. Given the choice, many of us would choose to remain at home if we were terribly ill too.

Providing medical and nursing care to those with life limiting illnesses is still a huge part of what we do. Our patient focus means that we also take a holistic approach to their wellbeing as each patient is an individual. They are usually seen within a week of being referred to us by a doctor, along with a clinical nurse specialist. We then provide the necessary care at Ty Hosbis, including counselling, occupational therapy and welfare rights advice. Patients can receive reflexology, and use of our sensory room too. We provide sessions called ‘Be Inspired’ on improving breathlessness and sessions on pain management as well.

Every week we hold activities at Ty Hosbis for patients who are looking for social interaction, a change of scenery, to learn something new or just have a couple of hours of fun. 

We also provide support for the families of those who have lost a loved one, including counselling for family members and coffee groups, where individuals can meet others who have recently been bereaved.

Our award-winning gardens are also a surprise. This tranquil area is full of nature and beauty and we are very lucky to have such wonderful grounds at City Hospice. Our volunteer gardeners are so attentive to this space, and have created an area which patients, carers, fellow volunteers and visitors can enjoy.

We also have plans to develop an internet suite at Ty Hosbis, a place where patients can learn IT skills from shopping online to Skyping with friends and family. After all, how would any of us know how to use such resources unless we were shown how to do so? We also wish to create an area to appeal to our younger patients. The transition period for a young person moving from children’s services to adult services can be a traumatic one. We intend on creating a space where young adults can use IT equipment adapted to their needs, where they can learn new skills, make new friends and have fun, in a supported environment.

Like hospices throughout the country, City Hospice is so much more than what may spring to mind when we consider the word ‘hospice’. This is a welcoming, bright and vibrant place where a community is seen in action. We take the energies of volunteers and the funds raised by our many supporters and use these collective efforts to support families throughout the city of Cardiff. When asked what the favourite part of my job is… seeing the wonderful difference our community can make is definitely it!

Liz Andrews
Chief Executive, City Hospice

This blog is written as part of Hospice UK’s ‘Hospice Care Week’ with focus on why people #HeartMyHospice. Hospices support hundreds of thousands of people every year, in all sorts of ways.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin for regular updates and information about our services.