An impassioned plea has been made to begin commissioning services at a much loved palliative care hospice and end the ‘scandal’ of its disuse .
Skegness Town Council resolved last Wednesday, August 7, to call upon the local GP clinical commissioning group to start using the Butterfly Hospice Trust’s palliative care facilities so the town’s terminally ill can die with dignity and comfort.
Raising the motion, Coun Mark Anderson said it was an ‘absolute crime’ that the Boston-based facility was not yet fully in use, two years after the building was officially opened thanks to the funds raised by local campaigners over a decade of dedicated charity work.
Having recently lost two older family members, Coun Anderson spoke passionately about the personal anguish he suffered seeing loved ones die in inferior facilities.
“Having seen a person dying in wards where there is no privacy or dignity, where people are rushed around and where it’s not the right atmosphere, and where all of the nurses and everyone is saying it’s not the fit and proper place for it to happen - that’s why we need this facility,” he said.
Seconding the motion, Coun Sid Dennis, said it was a ‘travesty’ that the facility had not yet admitted a single patient, despite everything having been in place since 2011.
“I would like to do whatever I can to move this forward,” he said.
Further support came from Coun Phil Kemp who described the delays in use as a ‘disgrace to humanity’ while Coun Mark Smith felt it was an ‘absolute scandal’ and suggested lobbying the county council for support.
Coun Steve O’Dare also praised the palliative care at Skegness Hospital and suggested widening the appeal to include funding for a raft of end-of-life care options.
“It should be about patient choice, wherever possible,” he said.
The Butterfly Hospice has since welcomed the council’s support to bring an end to these two past years of limbo.
“We are delighted that we are receiving the support from the local community, which is absolutely crucial,” said head of volunteering Davina Hellon.
The CCG said The Butterfly Hospice will be considered along with others, provided it meets certain requirements.
Concerns had been raised as to whether the hospice would have been able to gain the necessary registration from the Care Quality Commission to begin admitting patients.
However the chief executive Judi Byrne has since confirmed that a partnership with the Lincolnshire Community Health Trust, which runs Skegness Hospital, will satisfy that requirement.