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Highland Hospice chief hails 'extraordinary' effort of staff during coronavirus crisis

By Hector MacKenzie

Kenny Steele of Highland Hospice admits the massive challenge ahead but has hailed staff for an 'amazing' response.
Kenny Steele of Highland Hospice admits the massive challenge ahead but has hailed staff for an 'amazing' response.

THE chief of a Highland charity providing care to terminally ill patients has spoken of the "extraordinary" efforts of staff during the "unprecedented" challenge that coronavirus presents and admitted the massive challenge it presents on all fronts.

Kenny Steele, the chief executive of Highland Hospice, said today: "We have never known anything like what we are currently experiencing. We hope that, wherever you are, you are safe and well.

"Even in these uncertain times, we remain tirelessly committed to providing care and support to our Highland community. Our experienced and resilient clinical team is working hard to ensure they continue to provide the highest standard of care to patients staying in our inpatient unit.

"Whilst our day therapy services have been suspended for the time being, the team have put non face-to-face services in place to support those most vulnerable.

"Similarly our Helping Hands befrienders are maintaining contact with their clients. We are also supporting our NHS colleagues at this critical time."

The hospice has set up video-conference groups bringing GPs, care home staff and hospital staff together virtually to share expertise and learn best practice in COVID-19 safety and in caring for those badly affected.

Staff will also be on-site in Raigmore Hospital sharing expertise in palliative care and providing support to staff and patients as required.

He said: "You may have seen that we have had to cancel or postpone much of our fundraising activity and close our shops. This will inevitably lead to a loss of income. Please do keep up-to-date on our Facebook page to find out about all changes to fundraising events.

"We are currently living in unprecedented times which will require extraordinary efforts from all our staff. The response from our Highland Hospice team so far has been nothing short of amazing. I am immensely proud of their unrelenting dedication to their work and how everyone has adapted throughout this ongoing crisis.

"Together, we will continue to support our community as best we can.Please do stay strong and stay safe."

To donate to Highland Hospice online go to https://highlandhospice.org/donate

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