Life & Time extend services to Hilltown/ Rathfriland

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Life & Time Care, the palliative charity which delivers end of life care to Warrenpoint, Burren & Rostrevor region, has this month launched a new team of nurses to deliver services to the Rathfriland, Hilltown & Mayobridge area.

The established end of life charity, Life & Time Care, provides palliative support to families in Warrenpoint, Burren, and Rostrevor but this month expanded the community model into neighbouring villages through the recruitment of a team of nurses who live in Rathfriland, Hilltown & Mayobridge.

September marks National Palliative Care Week (13-19th) and coincides with the commencement of the new service now operational in these neighbouring villages.

Life & Time have recruited 20 new nurses, living locally, who can provide timely, end of life care to support terminally ill patients who choose to die at home.

First launched in 2018, the community initiative led by a voluntary board of Directors had always voiced an aim to grow the nursing team to support other local villages.

Director Martin McGinn says: “We’ve been working on expanding the reach of the service for some time but the COVID pandemic has obviously created delays in meetings, recruitment and ultimately pushed back the roll out. The Directors and our Nursing staff are delighted to now be in a position to offer support to Rathfriland, Hilltown & Mayobridge area.

“One of the key elements in our service model is the recruitment of skilled local nurses, who can be highly responsive to patients in our care. We are privileged to have 20 local nurses working with us joining our bank of 40 staff nurses, working to support end of life care in their own communities,” said Mr McGinn.

The Life & Time service model is based on nursing staff being able to respond to patient requests for symptom control quickly, during the night and early hours of the morning. Life & Time works along with all existing services and a referral can be made by the patient’s GP’s in consultation with the family.

Mr McGinn explains: “Local nursing staff are ‘on call’ between the hours of 10pm and 8am offering the patient and family advice, support and symptom relief.

“The fact that our service is delivered by a local person – who in many cases will be known to the family - can be hugely reassuring in a time of need.”

Life & Time Nurse Gillian Rowland is a highly experienced member of the district nursing team in Rathfriland and has taken up a supplementary role with Life & Time.

“I was aware of the service from nursing colleagues and was delighted when I saw the call for recruitment in this area. I am really proud to be involved in what I feel is an amazing service – the Life & Time bank of nurses are privileged to be able to offer palliative support and symptom control for members of our own community at end of life.”

“The service is designed to be quick to respond, with local nurses on call living in the patient’s area. At its heart, it enables local people to address a local need. The charity provides the framework for a community to look after its own and I feel very privileged to be part of Life & Time.”

If you have questions or if you are a nurse, GP or Health Care professional who would like to become involved in delivering palliative care in the Hilltown/Rathfriland area, please follow Life & Time Care on Facebook and Twitter, visit the website www.lifeandtimecare.org for more details.

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