One of London’s first NHS hospices is celebrating its 30th birthday this year.
Opened in the grounds of Ealing Hospital in 1987, Meadow House Hospice provides specialist palliative care services to the residents of Ealing and Hounslow.
Made up of a 15 bed inpatient unit and an active day hospice, patients are admitted to Meadow House Hospice in order to manage their symptoms, including pain control, and to undergo planned respite care and end of life care.
Lead Clinician Dr Jane Cowap said: “Although the majority of our patients have a cancer diagnosis, we care for an increasing number of patients who have non-malignant diseases such as heart disease and dementia. Our aim is to help each patient maximise the benefits of their treatment and to help them and their families cope with the effects of the disease.”
Meadow House Hospice also has a team of clinical nurse specialists and other professionals, who support patients in their own homes. Dr Cowap added: “We know that given the choice, most people prefer to be cared for in their own homes. Members of our team care for patients in their own homes helping them to remain in their own environment and, if possible, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.”
While Meadow House Hospice receives funding from the NHS, it relies on donations and fundraisers to bring in extra money.
Voluntary Services Manager Lynne May, who has worked at the hospice for six years, said: “It’s not just about the care we provide at Meadow House Hospice. It’s also about the extras that we give that are not funded by the NHS.
“We are very privileged to have the support of many local individuals and businesses whose kind and generous fundraising is an invaluable support to our staff and patients. Historically this money has been used to provide such things as complementary therapies and upgrades to the patients’ TV system.”
The hospice also has more than 30 volunteers who work in a number of roles, from spending time with patients, serving lunch and snacks and supporting the bereavement service.
Lynne added: “We have a fantastic team of dedicated volunteers who donate their time to the hospice. Their contribution and commitment cannot be underestimated and we are so fortunate to have them.”
To mark the hospice’s 30th birthday the Meadow House team are holding a number of events during the course of the year, including:
- A Garden Party on Saturday 10 June (1-4 pm)
- Voices for Hospices Musical Evening on Saturday 10 October
- Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 11 November (12-3.30 pm)
- Christmas Carols on Monday 18 December from 7pm
For more information about these events and Meadow House Hospice or to get involved in fundraising, please:
History of Meadow House Hospice:
- 1987: Meadow House Hospice opened on the site of an old infectious diseases ward at Ealing Hospital
- 1994: The hospice became part of West London Healthcare NHS Trust with the remit of providing care solely for Ealing residents
- 1995: Meadow House Hospice launched an appeal to raise £1.2 million for refurbishments and the construction of a new building
- 1996: Refurbishments were completed and once reopened, the Meadow House Hospice was available to both Hounslow and Ealing residents
- 1998: A day hospice was opened on site thanks to funding from the Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Health Authority and a large legacy donation
- 1999: Meadow House Hospice became part of Hounslow and Spelthorne Community and Mental Health NHS Trust
- 2001: A conservatory was added to the hospice and a total refurbishment of the inpatient unit began (which was completed in 2002)
- 2011: An Information Centre opened onsite offering practical help and support, as well as spiritual support for patients and their families
- 2014: Meadow House Hospice became part of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
- 2017: Meadow House Hospice celebrates its 30th birthday