The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport recently visited the Ayrshire Hospice meeting a number of patients, family members, employed and voluntary staff.

As part of the visit Jeane Freeman MSP toured the facility visiting the hospice in-patient unit, gardens, and day services lounge.

Mandy Yule, Chief Executive of the Ayrshire Hospice said: “It was a great opportunity for patients and families to meet with Ms Freeman and I was extremely proud to share the exceptional work of the teams across our organisation. She was particularly interested to hear from our patients and family members about their experience of hospice care as well as the development of our community services which currently provide support to over 300 people a week in their own homes across Ayrshire.

"Ms Freeman also commended our 189 employed staff and over 500 voluntary staff for the exceptional support and care available to our patients and their families 365 days a year”.

During 2017-18 the Ayrshire Hospice had 1,398 patient referrals from across Ayrshire. The majority of the care provided by the hospice is provided in the community with over 3,600 visits being made during 2017-18 by the hospice team of community specialist palliative care nurses.

The hospice provides access to a range of services including therapy and interest groups, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, drop in café, carers café and respite care.

Ms Freeman commented: “It was a privilege to meet with such positive, kind and committed staff who work hard to serve the people in the hospice. I’m grateful to witness how the hospice supports those staying for respite, their family members and the care that they support across Ayrshire.”

The care provided by the Ayrshire Hospice is at no cost to the patient or their families. However, it does require extensive, on-going fundraising support. During 2017-18, it cost over £7.7 million to run all hospice services.

Over £4.5 million was raised through voluntary donations alone. NHS Ayrshire & Arran provide partnership funding of over £2.8 million.