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Banbury Guardian: Katharine House Hospice celebrates 25th anniversary

10 February 2016

Katharine House Hospice marked its 25th Anniversary last Thursday with an event for local businesses who have supported the charity over the last quarter of a century.

Former Banbury MP and current Katharine House patron Sir Tony Baldry spoke at the event and highlighted the increasing number of people living with terminal illnesses for a much longer period of time.

He also praised the hospice for developing its services to support the physical and psychological challenges faced by patients and families as a result.

He also thanked founder and Chairman of 25 years, Neil Gadsby, acknowledging him as the inspiration for All-Party Hospice Support Group in Westminster.

Sir Tony said: “It wouldn’t have been there as a parliamentary group if it wasn’t for Neil and Katharine House Hospice.”

Bernadette Ross, director of nursing at the hospice, outlined the desire to offer more support to patients in the home environment.

She said: “We know that many people wish to spend as much time at home as possible, and may wish to die at home.

“We believe that we are well placed to train and support a Hospice at Home service, which would extend the care we currently deliver in the community to include hand on nursing care that could be delivered day and night, seven days a week.

“It would support patients in an acute crisis, and should prevent some hospital admissions. It would also support patients with skilled care in the last weeks of life, and enable relatives to get support and much-needed rest to sustain them through that very difficult period.”

The event concluded with new Chairman Richard Greaves thanking outgoing Chairman, now founder president, Neil Gadsby for his service, and echoed the desire for Katharine House to expand its services, reiterating the financial requirements of such a move.

Mr Greaves said: “It costs us well over £3 million a year to provide our services, and we get only a third of that from the government. It has always been our philosophy that we do not charge patients or their families for the services that we provide, and that means that we have to raise over £2 million each year to keep going.”