Lewis-Manning Hospice offers free, specialist palliative nursing care to people with a life-limiting illness in Poole, Bournemouth and surrounding areas.
In 2016, Lewis-Manning opened a purpose built hospice to provide both day care and inpatient services, including end-of-life care. The building was funded, in part, by a Charity Bank loan. Elizabeth Purcell, Chief Executive Officer of Lewis-Manning, tells us more.
“Lewis-Manning supports people with a life-limiting illness such as cancer, Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease. We first opened to patients in 1992 and have expanded our services over the years. Until we opened the end-of-life unit, however, there were gaps in how we were able to support patients. Many of them were dying in hospital wards. Lewis-Manning Hospice has enabled us to provide care and reduce inappropriate hospital admissions.
“We wanted to offer a community hospice service, where people with a life-limiting illness could get support from diagnosis right through to end-of-life. The only way to do that was to knock down the existing building and create a state-of-the-art facility that could cater for the needs of patients throughout their journey.
“We needed a loan to help with the build and the development, and felt it was important to choose an ethical provider. We wanted to work alongside a bank that has a similar moral and values-based belief system and culture. It would have been difficult to take out a loan from a commercial provider.
“One of our supporters suggested that we approach Charity Bank because of their understanding of the care sector. Charity Bank looks at the vision of what you want to achieve, as much as they look at the numbers. It’s not just about the money for them.
“Because of their experience and the way they work, the Charity Bank team knew we’d face challenges and that they could work alongside us during those difficulties. I absolutely recommend Charity Bank and we’ll go to them again if we need a loan.
“Our new building overlooks Poole Bay. We’re able to offer a wide range of day hospice and inpatient services, supporting 700-800 patients a year, along with their families. People are now able to come to us for end-of-life care. There’s medical support here - if a patient needs pain relief, we can provide it within minutes. We have a suite of bedrooms that family members can stay in, or they can stay with the patient if they prefer. So the family can go on caring and call us when they need to. It helps to take some of the fear and anxiety away.
“When we first decided to open the end-of-life unit, there wasn’t another community inpatient hospice in England that was run by nurses but offered medical support. If you’re doing something that’s new and beneficial to your community, it’s vital that you get it right. We’ve been successful in what we’ve done, so it’s really good to know that Charity Bank is using our repayments and savings to help other charities in their endeavours.
“I think most people who have money are keen to ensure that there’s a benefit from it – that it’s making a difference. There’s huge satisfaction in knowing that positive things have happened that might not have been possible without you.
“I’d like to say thank you to the people who save with Charity Bank. Without you we wouldn’t be able to care for 800 people a year whose lives have been tipped upside down by a diagnosis of cancer or another life-limiting illness. We couldn’t have carried on and developed our services. So on behalf of each one of those patients, I thank you.”