On the 10th of November, Wera Hobhouse MP visited Dorothy House hospice and met with staff and with patients receiving palliative, end-of-life, and respite care.
Dorothy House provides personalised care to support those in the Bath community in the final “1000 days” of their lives. Their compassionate, expert care helps both patients and their families, offering personalised care to meet the needs of each individual, with specialist palliative care and including creative and complementary therapies.
Mrs Hobhouse spent the afternoon meeting staff and patients at Dorothy House, joining them in a Serenity Session where they practised meditation and listened to calming music. She then spoke at length with the Chief Executive of the hospice, Wayne de Leeuw, about the funding and operational challenges that adult health and social care is facing. Wera emphasised the need for urgent attention to ensure that high-quality health and social care services do not fall into crisis.
During her visit, the MP for Bath and Mr de Leeuw also discussed the upcoming challenges which Bath and North East Somerset Council are facing, as they bring adult social care in-house, in the form of finance, workforce culture and the sheer number of staff transferring to the council. Both expressed the hope that the transfer would result in first-class service delivery.
Mrs Hobhouse and Wayne de Leeuw also touched on the topic of assisted dying during her visit. The Bath MP spoke of the great reflection that she had given to the complex and sensitive issue. She supports allowing people the agency to choose a compassionate and dignified death if they wish and in the right circumstances. This should always be subject to rigorous safeguarding to prevent abuse, and assisted at all stages by medical practitioners to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals in their last moments. Dorothy House also expressed their support for exploring all avenues to improving end-of-life care.
Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, commented: “I was honoured to be welcomed into Dorothy House by the exceptional staff and inspirational patients.
“We must ensure that hospice and care staff are given the resources they need to continue their outstanding hospice work.
“Excellent palliative medicine and care such as those provided by Dorothy House are a vital support to patients and their families helping to ensure comfort and dignity in death.”
Wayne de Leeuw, Chief Executive and Accountable Officer for Dorothy House, commented:
“It was wonderful to have the chance to introduce Wera to some of the people we are supporting in their last years of life.
“Dorothy House are committed to empowering people to live well, so for us to have our local MP hear from them directly is hugely significant. We support an ageing population with demand for end of life care continuously growing.
“We are hugely grateful to Wera and people across our community for their support in helping to meet that challenge and ensure everyone has access to outstanding care.”