Civil Service Local has been supporting patients at Trinity Hospice since 2014. Its Government Access Point (GAP) visits to provide access to information from various departments including DWP, HMRC, Land Registry and Ministry of Defence.
GAP provides a friendly face-to-face advice service giving practical information, providing support for patients in a place they feel comfortable, and also helping family members at a difficult time.
Staff in Trinity’s Day Therapy Unit say the relationship with GAP is a really valuable one, and the team was pleased to host another visit recently.
Sister Deborah Wood says: ‘A great working relationship has been formed between our two very different environments. They are really committed and join our patient group every 16 weeks, when they can gain the confidence of our poorly and sometimes vulnerable patients.
‘Day Therapy patients are a mixture of ages and conditions, but as they approach end of life they can become anxious about financial issues and the stress of this can have a negative effect on them and their families. Most are not aware of the benefits available to them, and often feel they just haven’t got the energy to make that call.
‘The GAP team make the process accessible, making life so much easier for the patient, and often money can be found that has not been claimed. It gives our patients financial peace of mind, which also aids dignity as they approach end of life.
‘I have to admire the way the team work with our patients in what can be a difficult emotional environment. They show great respect and understanding, and the work they do here is hugely valued.’
Gemma Cooper, Lead for Trinity GAP team says: ‘I really enjoy the opportunity for face-to-face contact with our customers. It’s challenging, as I am frequently faced with situations that I would not come across in my day-to-day role, but I am in the privileged position of being able to help people who don’t know where to turn, and make a difference at a difficult time.’
Kathie Bates for Civil Service Local adds: ‘It is inspiring to see four years on how our pilot with Trinity Hospice has grown into a key part of Trinity’s support and advice service. It is always a privilege to meet the patients and staff at this amazing organisation.”