Originally, the term hospice dates back to medieval times in which a hospice was a place where weary travellers could find shelter and temporary respite from their journeys.
The modern concept is a comprehensive model of care with services specially tailored to the needs of terminally ill persons and their families.
Though in recent history there have been other institutions and organisations focusing their efforts on providing specialised care to the dying, the modern concept of hospice care to the dying as we now know it was pioneered and defined in large by Dr. Cicely Saunders, a British physician who opened St Christopher's Hospice in London in 1967.
What Is Hospice At Home
Hospice care idoes not have to be about a specific building, but more a philosophy of care which revolves around the patient and their family and which can be provided in a variety of settings, including the patient's own home.
Herriot at Home aims to provide a high quality of care and support to both patients and carers in the familiar surroundings of their own home. Care and support is tailored to meet the needs of each individual in order to improve quality of life and ultimately help towards a peaceful and dignified death.
History of Herriot Hospice Homecare
In 1991 various members of the public wanted to set up an appeal to raise funds for a Hospice in Northallerton.
Discussion followed with representatives from the NHS, including the Macmillan Nurse in post at the time, and others, and it was realised that research was showing that most people who knew they were dying would prefer to be at home rather than be in hospital or a nursing home, given the choice (about 76%).
In order to meet this need it was decided to set up a Hospice Homecare support group to enable people to remain at home by offering a volunteer service to provide respite sitting and befriending, driving support and a patient grant scheme. In 1992 the Volunteer service started, and Hospice Homecare became a registered charity in 1996.
Gradually Hospice Homecare (HH) grew from a small amateur organisation run by volunteers to a service run by trained staff. However, in 2000 core funding was coming to an end and following a review HH submitted a Business Plan to the Primary Care Group seeking further financial support. This was turned down, but an offer to provide funding to develop another service, linked to the existing services was suggested. Monies were provided by the Primary Care Group to do some research.
By 2001 research was completed, and it was decided that HH would consider taking on the Community Critical Care Scheme from Health and Social Services and provide a hospice at home service, for those patients who wish to remain at home for their final weeks.
The organisation expanded to take on the new service, and additional posts were introduced. In March 2005 the organisation was registered by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, now the Care Quality Commission, as a Domiciliary Care Agency, and in April 2005 a new name of Herriot Hospice Homecare (HHH) was launched. On June 20th 2005, HHH, having employed their own team of specialist palliative care Healthcare Assistants, took on the administration and provision of the end of life care at home scheme on behalf of the Hambleton and Richmondshire NHS Primary Care Trust.
The next development was to expand the provision of complementary therapies at home. We started with a volunteer aromatherapist and so eventually we recruited therapists to add to the aromatherapy service and then reflexology and acupuncture were introduced and then subsequently hair and nails and a chiropody service. In 2012 Bereavement Care, another local charity, joined the Herriot Hospice Homecare Team and doubled the number of bereavement referrals annually.
On the 23 July 2013, the Charity was honoured by a visit from The Princess Royal who joined volunteers, supporters and staff at a garden party to celebrate the Charity's 21st Anniversary.