To: The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
Save the Michael Sobell Hospice.
Find a way to replace the current Michael Sobell Hospice building that has come to the end of its life. (Or has it?)
Why is this important?
Forty one years ago Michael Sobell had a vision. A vision of a hospice where people would be able to spend the last few days of their life with all the staff and facilities that were needed to hand, in an environment that was as pleasant as possible. An environment with beautiful plants growing indoors as well as in the peaceful, tranquil gardens, a calming aquarium, and an aviary where colourful, birds flit from branch to branch and sing. An environment far removed from the usual, purely functional, antiseptic hospital ward, and a level of 24 hour care far more effective than that which could ever be provided at home.
In 1977 Michael Sobell was moved enough to donate £1 million of his own money so that his vision could be achieved. A building was erected which provided an environment that was as homely as possible, friendly, and even inspirational, but a building with an expected life span of only 20 years. It has been tended and cared for by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers for 41 years. But now here we are and the inevitable day has finally arrived and the building needs to be demolished, and yet there is no plan in place to allow this much appreciated facility to continue.
“Care in the community” undoubtedly has its benefits, but the phrase often seems to be used in a cynical way to slash costs and justify closing facilities. But it is totally inappropriate and unacceptable for end-of-life care. We are in danger of letting down not only Michael Sobell, the inpatients, and their families, but also the trustees, staff, and volunteers who have tended and cared for the hospice all these years - not to mention all those who have sacrificed their time, and risen to many a challenge, to raise funds in support. We must not lose sight of Michael Sobell's vision; the NHS needs to demonstrate that it still has a heart and soul. Otherwise we will just end up where we started 41 years ago. We cannot allow hospices to be closed up and down the country. We must not short-change all those people for whom the cards of life played out badly.
This issue should be of NATIONWIDE CONCEN, we cannot stand by and allow the humanity to be taken out of decisions that effect us all, no matter what the financial pressures might be.
Now is the time to mobilise public opinion while the powers that control the NHS contemplate how best to use their £20bn “birthday present.” We need to petition East and North Herts NHS Trust and make our feelings known before a decision is made that wipes the Michael Sobell Hospice off the face of the earth for ever. The NHS would then lose the ability to provide the sort of care for end-of-life patients that the community works so hard to support. It stands to lose the services of the dedicated people that tend the gardens, and look after the aviary and aquarium, and all the people that strive to raise funds to provide all manner of small comforts for the inpatients. The NHS stands on the brink of losing the additional funding generated by the Charity that supports the hospice which allows its limited resources to go that little bit further. But most importantly we need to show the NHS the strength of public opinion before it makes an irreversible decision that will deny many of our loved-ones access to the final demonstration of our community’s love and compassion that is offered by our hospices.
ANY VIEWS EXPRESSED HERE ARE MY OWN AND OTHER PARTIES MAY WISH TO EXPRESS DIFFERENT VIEWS!
The Board of Trustees of the Michael Sobell Hospice Charity have announced that they have set up an Advisory working group as part of their “listening and engagement” exercise. In order to help them in their desire to “spread a wide net to capture not only local views but also consider the national picture for palliative and end of life care’”, we have compiled a short survey. To complete it copy and paste the following link into your browser.
You are also able to find the SURVEY on the newly created Save My Safe Haven website: www.savemsh.co.uk where we will be posting the results.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE try and complete the SURVEY in time for the meeting the Michael Sobell House Charity has planned for later on in August.
Any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How it will be delivered
We have delivered an interim version of the petition. But we want to get to 10,000 signatures!
If you want to be kept informed on our progress make sure to select the option 'Yes, keep me informed by email.' You can easily opt out later.
Keep signing the petition!