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Kilbryde Hospice Opening Celebration

Kilbryde Hospice has welcomed guests from across Lanarkshire and Glasgow to its official opening.

The hospice was formally opened by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on Friday 16 September 2016, 15 years after a group of committed supporters started working towards a new hospice for the area. The First Minister described services at the hospice as “wonderful”. The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the widow of its founder member Tony McGuinness, Hospice Director Gretta McGuinness, as well as hospice staff, patients and carers.

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Pictured L-R: CCG Chairman & Chief Executive, Alastair Wylie; Director, Lady Susan Haughey CBE; Architect, Eddie Kerr; First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon; Chief Executive, Gordon McHugh; Chairman, Dennis Gallagher and Director, Gretta McGuinness.

Before formally opening the hospice, the First Minister was invited by Lady Susan Haughey CBE and hospice Chairman Dennis Gallagher, to have a tour and find out more detailed information about the services provided. Lynsay Bain, Day Services Manager, gave the First Minister an overview of services which are already being provided on a daily basis to patients and carers including a Care at Home service. Margaret Mary Cowan, Head of Integration and Clinical Services, highlighted the many areas of work that are planned in future within the Donna Mortimer Ballantyne in-patient unit.

The visit also gave the First Minister an opportunity to meet members of the day services user group and people who care for family members who visit the hospice. One day services user, Linda Kyle, aged 46, told the First Minister: “As I am young I was nervous about attending day services. However, I was made to feel part of the group and no longer feel alone. No one judges me, the staff have been fantastic and are always there to support and listen.”

The First Minister was asked to add her thoughts to a ‘Leaf for the Day’ tree which allows new patients, carers and visitors to give their views on the service. The First Minister’s leaf reads: “The services here are wonderful, thoughtful and people-centred. Thank you for showing me around.”

Gordon McHugh, the Kilbryde Hospice Chief Executive, said: “We were honoured to welcome the First Minister to celebrate the official opening of the hospice. It brought everyone together, dignitaries, visitors, volunteers and staff. We have come a long way since October 2001, especially in the last three years, building this wonderful building along with Eddie Kerr our Architect and Alastair Wylie of CCG, who made a substantial financial contribution to allow the hospice to come in on target. Our patient numbers have gone up every week and it was fantastic to see patients, carers and service users get the opportunity to speak about their journeys with the First Minister, whom I cannot thank enough for listening to all of them.”

Mr McHugh added: “The First Minister’s visit also helps us build awareness of the essential support and services we provide to patients every day who are living with a life-limiting illness.”

CCG’s Chairman and Chief Executive Alastair Wylie said “This is a best-in-class facility and we are delighted that we could make a valuable contribution to ensuring that it was completed to such a high standard. We have been working with the hospice from the outset and the team here do a fantastic job in providing specialised palliative care to achieve the best quality of care and life.  We were keen to ensure patients and their families were able to utilise the warm, comfortable and state of the art facilities as soon as possible and we are delighted that it is now open. We care deeply about this project and will continue to support the great work that they do here.”

Our patients and carers also shared their thoughts on Kilbryde Hospice and the opening of our Day Services unit.

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Pictured: Nicola Sturgeon interacts with some of our patients, carers and volunteers.

John McCart, a carer for his wife, used a picture of a remote farmhouse surrounded by hay to tell the First Minister what the hospice means to them both.

He said: “What does this picture mean to you First Minister? It means tranquility to me, and that’s how I feel when my wife attends day services at the hospice.”

Brian McBride: “Being referred by a friend to the hospice has really helped in many ways. Being part of the support was great.  The support given by the service, also enabled my family to come to terms with the aftermath of surgery to remove a kidney”.

His wife Carol McBride: “The service has been a great support to us all, especially as Brian still struggles at times. I look forward to the day when the service is fully operational.”

Ann Short, widow of Jimmy: “The service was wonderful for both of us before Jimmy’s death a few weeks ago, and the staff continue to support me now.”

Malcolm Hall: “My father came to day service as a patient, and I was introduced to the services for carers. I have taken part in the Carers Course, which was excellent in terms of practical support and information.”

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Pictured L-R: Kilbryde Hospice Day Services Manager, Lynsay Bain; Head of Integration and Clinical Services, Margaret Mary Cowan; Information Development Officer, Linda Craig; First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and patient, Brian McBride.