Durban Hospice closes inpatient facilities due to lack of funds – SABC News

Families in Durban say the Highway Hospice in Sherwood has been an incredible support system for them as they cared for their terminally ill loved ones.

The hospice is among several NGOs that have been under financial pressure since funding dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic. Highway Hospice presented its annual general meeting via video and announced its decision to close its inpatient unit, choosing to shift its resources and focus on the home care service. They had also been pressured to reduce their workforce from 102 to just 42 staff.

Until two years ago, Highway Hospice in Sherwood was one of the few hospices in the Greater Durban area to offer an inpatient service.

The organization found that closing the inpatient unit would be a better use of donor funds, as the inpatient unit costs R500,000 to operate. They are still able to send nursing staff to over 600 people for home care in the greater Durban area. This is now their primary area of ​​care. But that, too, requires funding to cover gas, medicine, and nurse or doctor costs.

There are countless individuals and families who have come forward to say how the hospice has helped them when they need it most, and are calling for the inpatient facility to be reopened, due to the reprieve it has. also offered to patients. as their families and caregivers.

85-year-old Durban resident Shirley Smith was forced to become the primary caregiver for her 60-year-old son when he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. It was her first experience of caring for someone with a terminal illness, and she says Highway Hospice responded to her calls for help immediately.

“He actually asked Sister Lauran to take him to the hospice, but she made it clear to him that they didn’t have inpatients, so they were just doing district visits. I think he wanted to leave [to the hospice] he felt more confident with them because they are in the medical field. For him, he must realize that they can do more for him than me. They might take better care of him at the hospice than I would at home, although we did our best to do everything we could for him,” Smith recalled of his experience.

Giselle Haupe, who has cancer, says she is grateful for the support and encouragement she receives from nurses at Sherwood’s Hospice. Much of the care Haupe needed centered on pain management, and nurses helped her by supervising her use of morphine for pain. She says the help from hospice staff improved the quality of life she lost because of her pain.

“I can never explain how grateful we are as patients to the staff at the hospice and how much we appreciate them for taking care of our physical needs, from holding hands to wiping away tears when struggling. becomes too difficult. We thank them for giving us dignity and quality of life. Life is so precious and that’s exactly how they make us feel every day. continued Haupe.

Sbonelo Mvaba, whose wife recently died of cancer, reflects on the support he and his family have received from hospice, and is grateful that the hospital where his wife was treated referred the family to Highway Hospice .

“The hospice is very important because they take over when the hospital says there is nothing more they can do. They do so much to help families and patients,” Mbava concluded.

Highway Hospice continues to try to raise funds from donors, and details for donating are available on the hospice’s website for interested donors.

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