I joined Overgate Hospice in the role of Medical Director in March 2009 and since then I have seen many changes, but one thing that hasn’t changed during my time here is the complete focus on the needs of our patients and their families. I see it in every aspect of Overgate’s work: helping a patient find a morsel to tempt them when appetite is low, making sure that patients and families understand their situation, relieving pain and other symptoms, planning new services, and raising the funds to provide care. It’s all driven by our common goal, that Calderdale people facing life-limiting illness, and their families, access the best possible care. That’s why I love Overgate.
During the pandemic, we cared for a young man who was not ready to hear that his life would be cut short by illness. He was admitted to the Hospice several times for control of his pain and other symptoms. As the weeks and months passed, he became more seriously ill. On his last admission he was supported to discuss his future, and to say what mattered most now that he knew time was short. Although he was too frail to return to living at home, he desperately wanted to see his house and neighbourhood one last time. With the help of his family, the great efforts of the whole Overgate team, and a loan of equipment from an Overgate supporter, we managed to make this a safe and comfortable trip. After a few hours he asked to come back “home” to Overgate. He died peacefully a few days later. It is a privilege to be part of the team and community that helped this man achieve his final wish.
Looking to the future, we know the need for Hospice care is increasing and we remain committed to the evolution and development of our services to meet the needs of the whole of the Calderdale community.