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Marie Curie to close hospice in Caterham

By This is Surrey  |  Posted: December 01, 2008

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A leading cancer charity is cutting long-standing ties with Caterham and the surrounding area.

The Marie Curie hospice, in Harestone Drive, Caterham, provides support for terminally ill patients across Surrey, treating around 600 patients a year. Staff were told on Tuesday funding for the service would end in March.

East Surrey MP Peter Ainsworth said: "I very much regret Marie Curie's decision to sever its long-standing ties with Caterham. The concern is that, under the plans now being drawn up, patients will no longer have local access to specialist treatment and medicines.

"I recognise that, as an independent charity, Marie Curie is perfectly free to take its own decisions; however, I believe that they need to do a great deal more to convince local cancer sufferers and families that their plans are genuinely in the interests of our community."

Healthcare workers working for Marie Curie speaking to the Mirror off the record expressed grave concern that, despite assurances from Marie Curie that treatment of patients would continue in the community, care for those most in need could fall back on GPs who simply did not have the time, and in some cases the training, to provide the same level of care.

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    dianne g, caterham  |  January 15 2009, 1:57PM

    I live in Caterham and know families who have been helped enourmously by these amazing people...what happens next...more flats...where is the real care in the community......??????????

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    Steve Martin, Godstone  |  January 13 2009, 3:34PM

    Marie Curie's plans to close down their operation in Caterham is going to be devastating to the community. We could understand if it was a financial decision as the old building is obviously expensive to run but they are ending ALL the services run from Harestone too and have made the nurses redundant. A demonstration has been planned for Saturday 17th January 2009 at the hospice in Harestone Valley Drive. Please come and voice your opinion, we need your support.

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    sylvia clay, Surrey  |  December 14 2008, 10:47AM

    Our son, John, spent the last few days of his life in Caterham Hospice. The care he received was first rate and he, his wife and his young daughters felt the strain and worry ease so they could make the most of the time left. He had wanted to stay at home but the virulence of the cancer made pain control uneven and he needed the 24 hour care. The theory of home care is admirable in an ideal world but, as John found it, does not always work well in practice. There are breakdowns in communications, a lot of red tape and, basically, a shortage of sufficient staff to cover all the patients' needs. The government wastes a lot of money. Help to fund hospices would be a really worthwhile cause. I do hope this vital hospice will be saved. be

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    Barbara Perry, Caterham  |  December 04 2008, 5:21PM

    Marie Curie HQ are saying that they want to increase the number of people being cared for in their own homes nationally. Sounds fine, but what a lot of people dont know is the other very important things they do from the Caterham centre. Did you know they also have a Bereavement Care Service, a Day Care Centre, Community Support Care Service and Palliative Care Team which will all go if these plans are carried through. These services are just as important as caring for sick patients in their homes. Marie Curie have been in this building since 1966 and has become the backbone of Caterham with many local people doing voluntary work to keep the place going. Not just collecting money but working for free as receptionists, admin staff and bereavement counselling visitors. If you feel strongly about losing this valuable community service then I urge you to write to the London HQ at Albert Embankment in the event that local pressure can keep the service going.

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    David Archer, Caterham  |  December 03 2008, 11:42AM

    This is terrible news lets hope the Caterham branch was run properly.

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    Tina K, Box Hill, Surrey  |  December 02 2008, 9:40PM

    This is a very sad development, however with the impact of the credit crunch on investment returns for charities across the board, not to mention government funding for grassroots charities being diverted to fund the 2012 olympic games, what are voluntary organisations to do?

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    Jim Frederickson, Redhill  |  December 02 2008, 12:27PM

    Where are they going,what are they doing?