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Hospice launches new day therapy service

Doncaster’s St John’s Hospice has launched its new look day therapy unit with an open event for local healthcare professionals.

The hospice, based in Balby, held the event on Monday 22 January to officially unveil the therapy led service, which is available to Doncaster patients living with a life limiting palliative condition and aims to improve their quality of life and symptoms, through meeting other people and taking part in a range of guided activities.

St John’s Hospice Lead Physiotherapist Sally Wheater, who has played a primary role in setting up the service said: “We’re developing our services around the needs of our patients and will be offering support in self managing a variety of symptoms, along with gentle exercise.

“We’ll aim to support patients so they can perform daily activities independently and have a sense of control over their lives, while continuing their important life roles and usual routines.”

The new team, which also comprises assistant practitioners, complementary therapists, an activity co-ordinator, and hairdresser, will offer a variety of sessions from Tuesday to Friday in the Hospice’s day therapy unit, and patients will be encouraged to set goals for what they wish to achieve from their weekly sessions, which will run for 12 weeks.

Sally said: “People living with palliative conditions can be sometimes feel isolated, so these sessions offer an opportunity for peer support, drawing on shared personal experience to provide knowledge, social interaction, emotional assistance, or practical help, often in a way that’s mutually beneficial.

“We’re also providing education sessions, creative activities, complementary therapy and hairdressing to stimulate and soothe our patients while they are here, and we’ll be relying on their feedback to continually develop the care we provide.”

Referral to the day therapy unit is via a healthcare professional (such as a GP, specialist nurse, or district nurse). When the St John’s Hospice Day Therapy team receive the referral, they will carry out a face-to-face assessment to see whether the service will be of clinical benefit to the patient.

Service Manager Sam Edwards said: “We’re delighted to be launching this much-needed new service, which aims to make a real difference to local patients to help them manage their condition as early as possible after their diagnosis, with the best possible quality of life.”

St John’s Hospice is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust (RDaSH). For more information on how to support St John’s Hospice, please visit the hospice website (opens in new window).

Lead Physiotherapist Sally Wheater (right) is pictured with the St John’s Day Therapy Unit team.

Published: January 25, 2024

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