Life & Time, the new charity set up to deliver extra end of life care to people in the Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and Burren region, has officially been launched.
After almost a year since the concept of a community driven, end-of-life service was proposed through a series of open meetings in Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and Burren; Life & Time now have 19 trained nurses on the ground, providing additional end of life care in the community.
Speaking at a special launch event in Warrenpoint Town Hall, Life & Time Director and retired GP, Dr. Henry McLaughlin said he was thrilled to get to this stage and credited the team of directors, nurses the community support that accelerated the commencement of the service.
The event featured special guest Professor Max Watson, published author and palliative care clinician; Director of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) at Hospice UK in London; former Medical Director of the Northern Ireland Hospice; visiting Professor at the University of Ulster, Palliative care consultant with Western Trust and chair of the RCGP (NI) End of Life Care Committee.
Professor Watson, a foremost authority in palliative care and author of key texts in Palliative care, spoke to an audience of hundreds at Warrenpoint Town Hall as part of the official launch of LIFE & TIME.
Henry McLaughlin said the launch of the service had been a significant undertaking: “When we began thinking about this service, we didn’t fully appreciate the legal and logistic undertaking but we were ambitious.
“It took considerable time and a huge amount of work to be granted charity status; to become recognised by the RQIA as a nursing agency to enable us to deliver this unique service; to recruit and train nurses; brief GP’S and set up a referral system; and meet with other organisations delivering home support to patients at or near end of life to ensure our services integrated well.
“Throughout this time, the support of our local community has never faltered.
“From the first night we proposed this concept, local families have been making personal donations, organising events and donating in lieu flowers at funerals. We are humbled and truly grateful to them and our volunteer board for getting Life & Time to this stage.
“I’m delighted to announce officially that we are fully operational and in recent weeks have been able to provide end of life care under the Life & Time banner to local families who have a loved one who chose to die at home,” Dr McLaughlin concluded.
Life & Time is a registered charity which provides additional resources to supplement the services offered by Marie Curie, local community nurses and the Southern Area Hospice.
Where resources are stretched and palliative care is needed promptly, Life & Time has been designed specifically to step in to fill that care void (between the hours of 11pm and 8am) and offer support to the patient and peace of mind to the family.
If you would like any other information, please visit the website www.lifeandtimecare.org or contact your GP.