Last week, Sue Ryder was delighted to welcome Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, and Kris Hopkins, Keighley MP to Manorlands Hospice in Yorkshire. They were shown around by Sarah Bottomley Head of Clinical Services, Sue Owlett, Head of Support Services and Andrew Wood, one of the senior Fundraisers. They also had the opportunity to speak to people using the services and their families and were shown some technological innovations that Sue Ryder is involved in to enhance access to end of life care in community, and particularly rural settings.
Whilst at Manorlands Hospice, they were shown an online end of life care platform that Sue Ryder is developing with Dynamic Health Systems, which is being piloted at Manorlands and at two other Sue Ryder hospices. The platform will enable patients to rate their own health, access and update their care records and also share information about their preferences. Professionals involved in their care, as well as carers family members can also access the platform in conjunction with the patient which feeds into the Government’s self-management and co-ordination agenda.
The Manorlands team aslo demonstrated a service called Goldline, which offers individuals who are nearing end of life and their loved ones access to co-ordination and support services 24/7 by phone or Skype.
Preth Rao, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Sue Ryder, commented: “Offering access to 24/7 coordination, support and advice at the end of life is what Sue Ryder’s General Election campaign, ‘Dying doesn’t work 9-5,’ is all about and we were pleased to be able to demonstrate the benefits of this to Mr Hunt and Mr Hopkins first-hand.
“We also took this opportunity to personally thank the Government for ensuring that charitable hospices are now eligible to receive a VAT rebate and shared what a positive impact this will have on all of our hospices.”
Jeremy Hunt’s visit took place 8 days after the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement announcement, which now offers certain VAT rebates to charitable hospices. The VAT rebate campaign was an initiative which Sue Ryder started in 2011 to address the gap of VAT recovery which existed between hospice charities and NHS providers of palliative care, as a direct result of our experience with our Duchess of Kent Hospice. Since then, we have continued to work with Hospice UK and the Charity Tax Group to highlight the disparity.
Eizabeth Procter, Hospice Director at Sue Ryder – Manorlands Hospice, concluded: “Kris Hopkins MP has always been a very dedicated supporter of Manorlands Hospice. We cannot thank him enough for his continued support and for inviting the Secretary of State for Health to Manorlands to see first-hand the incredible care that Sue Ryder provides and the innovations we are creating along with partners in our local community.”