Dear Readers, Food for Thought!It’s hard to believe but Woodlands Hospice opened its doors 14 years agothis January. The intervening years have been filled with servicedevelopments and expansion, culminating in the opening of the long-awaited inpatient unit last Summer. As services and the number ofpatients we can care for increase, so too do the costs of providingthese. Woodlands Hospice now cares for over 800 patients and theirfamilies each year. The costs of providing this care are considerableand all care is provided free of charge. Contrary to popular belief, Woodlands Hospice is not a part of the NHS, it is an independentregistered charity. Whilst the recipient of funding from the three local Primary Care Trusts,Woodlands still have to find a significant proportion of its income through fundraising anddonations – a figure of around £680,000 this year. I am very aware during this economic climate times are difficult and we are all watching our outgoings and cutting back where possible and for this reason we really do appreciate the support of our readers and those in the community. Woodlands specialist palliative care is very ‘unique ’ to each person with great emphasis not just on physical symptom control and pain management but also emotional needs. Palliative careoffers management of the symptoms of a life threatening illness. The Hospice team provides care in the truest sense of the word- the holding of a hand, comfort and support, caring words, and emotional support offered to patients and family members alike. The most important aspect of our care is the way it is communicated to each person, with tenderness, understanding and love.Also central to Woodlands ’ care is food and nourishment. Our catering staff witness patients’ up’s and down’s – delight when a patient with little appetite hitherto requests a hearty meal, sadness when a patient with a previously healthy appetite sends back meals barely touched.Variety and choice, comfort food and food which is easy to nibble at – that’s what Woodlands provides. Food really is the sustainer of life. Missing a meal is equivalent to missing a dose of medication – it is crucial that we are able to offer patients the food they want when they want i

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