Corby's Lakelands Hospice at Home has marked a decade of providing end-of-life care for people who wished to die peacefully in their own homes surrounded by their loved ones.
The service was set up in August 2010 and since then has helped 674 patients and provided 2,488 nights of care for residents in and around Corby.
Responding to a survey that showed 72 per cent of Corby people wanted to be at home given the choice of where to die, hospice nursing staff set up the free-to use service.
A hospice spokesman said: "The service has made a considerable difference to patients, families and carers over the last ten years.
"We have supported 674 end-of-life patients and their families to date and have provided 2,488 nights of care, something that we are very proud of.
"Although this does mean that 674 patients have passed away, we were able to support and care for the patients, their carers and families.
"In the last 12 months, this service has saved the NHS 79 hospital attendances, a saving of £228,456. Our aim remains to expand the service for more and more people each year."
The service is managed by an on-site nurse manager and a Hospice at Home coordinator with registered nurses providing professional, high quality, out-of-hours care for patients in the last four weeks of their illness, whilst also providing emotional support to families and carers and giving them the chance to rest.
Before the Hospice at Home service was launched, the nearest provider was based in Northampton.
Nurse Rosina Howe has been with the service for all of its ten years. She was recruited at its launch and was presented with a ten-year service award.
The driving force behind the idea and launch of the service was founder and trustee Vic Hardy who was instrumental in overcoming the many administrative and financial barriers to get the service launched.
The spokesman said: "For Lakelands to have helped and supported so many people, who were unfortunate enough to have to need the service in the last ten years, is an achievement we are all proud of and although Vic himself passed away in March 2019, the figures show his determination and dedication was not in vain."
Demands on the Hospice at Home service has outstripped the available funding leading to a shortfall for the last service year of 2019 to 2020.
The spokesman added: "It’s particularly challenging to find funding in the Northamptonshire area including the impact that Covid-19 has had on our own fundraising events. Throughout this unprecedented pandemic the service has been stretched to capacity with our incredible team of dedicated palliative nurses working tirelessly in demanding conditions to ensure the support was still available.
"There is a serious lack of overnight palliative care from any other organisation in and around Corby and feedback from relatives and friends of the patients that have been helped by Lakelands has shown that our Hospice at Home service really is vital.
"Our nurses often work more nights than expected to ensure that no patient dies unsupported and also provide care after death in accordance with the National End of Life Care Programme (2011) by staying with the patient’s family for as long as they are needed."
Head of fundraising Paul Marlow said: “Lakelands Hospice at Home is an incredible service run by an incredible team of people, not only do they work nights supporting patients and families at such a stressful time they have continued working through the Covid crisis at considerable risk to themselves to ensure no one goes unsupported, they are all true heroes.”