Ayrshire Hospice starts 18 month residence in East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire Community Hospital (EACH) and Ayrshire Hospice are joining forces to help support and enhance hospice care across Ayrshire.

For the next 18 months, Ayrshire Hospice staff will make use of currently underused space at the community hospital while their own premises undergo major refurbishment. The move presents a new opportunity for partnership working and a chance for the hospice to build a stronger connection with people in East Ayrshire.

Tracy Flynn, Director of Patient and Family Services at the Ayrshire Hospice, has been looking forward to taking up the offer of temporary accommodation at EACH, which provides a new way for staff to connect and allows East Ayrshire residents greater access and insight into the workings of the hospice.

She explained: “Whilst we receive a steady flow of referrals for our services, and our community team members are actively engaged across east, north and south Ayrshire, our admission rates do tend to be less from those residing within East Ayrshire. We hope to rectify this imbalance by having our In-patient Unit sited within the Cumnock community.

“It is hoped that the time at EACH will afford a range of opportunities to improve our connectivity, and influence the patient journey for the benefit of all our patients, now and into the future.”

Craig McArthur, Director of East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, welcomes the opportunity and the additional benefits this move will bring to development plans and the workforce: “Ayrshire Hospice coming to make use of facilities at EACH presents an excellent opportunity for us to work together, bringing patients and families into closer contact with hospice care to develop a fuller understanding and experience of what this can mean for them.

“One key advantage will be the chance for both hospice and hospital teams to learn from each other and collaborate. There will also be opportunities for us to establish projects, contributing towards the Caring for Ayrshire programme, which will see a significant change in the way services are delivered from EACH, following the return of the Hospice to Ayr later next year.

“This strengthened connection with Ayrshire Hospice embodies our ‘People, Compassion and Partnership’ approach, set out in our Strategic Plan. Coming together to work with compassion across the sector will help us to enable patients to live well and die well, through a shared commitment to care.”

During its time at EACH, Ayrshire Hospice will make use of a total of 12 rooms – 11 In-patient beds and an additional family space to provide community and day service support across East Ayrshire. Hospice staff will also be split between the Ayrshire Hospice Hub at Lochranza, Ailsa Hospital and at Miller Road, Ayr.

Following the refurbishment, the team at Ayrshire Hospice will be encouraging visitors to their new premises to continue the effort to demystify the meaning of hospice care, whether it refers to care in a person’s home, at a hospice or in another care setting.