PEOPLE living with a terminal illness in the Vale are being encouraged to explore how Marie Curie can help them to “live well” via virtual treatments and consultations.

The end of life care charity was forced to temporarily suspend its day therapy services at the Penarth-based Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale, as the covid-19 pandemic hit Wales.

Services on offer to patients with a terminal diagnosis, and their carers included hypnotherapy, physiotherapy, reflexology and a carer’s café with peer to peer support.

A number of these will now be relaunched virtually via Microsoft Teams – with both Marie Curie staff and volunteers running the sessions through a series of weekly programmes.


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Some of the therapies which were offered, such as reflexology, will instead be teaching sessions to show people how they can do the treatments on themselves or their loved ones – such as hand reflexology sessions.

There will also be “Just Ask” sessions with calls to a nurse or other healthcare professional with any questions the patient or their loved one might have.

In November 2018, there were around 300 people across the Vale of Glamorgan living with a terminal illness, who were not accessing Marie Curie services.

Rebecca Lewis, Allied Health Professionals manager at the hospice, said: “We are aware that there will be a number of people living across the Vale who have had a terminal diagnosis, but don’t yet require specialist palliative care and so are unaware of the wider services Marie Curie can offer to help them live well with their terminal condition.

“We can also provide support to the carer to ensure they have all the information they need in caring for their loved one as their condition changes or progresses.”

Talking of the importance of access to health and holistic services during the current pandemic, she added: “There’s always been a need for these kinds of services but in the past people could only receive them if they could come to our Day Therapy Unit at the hospice.

“The pandemic has meant we are currently not able to invite people to our unit however we have learnt that people have generally adapted well to receiving health consultations virtually.

“Using a virtual platform, we aim to reach everyone who is living with a terminal illness in the Vale of Glamorgan, especially during a time when many people have experienced isolation like never before.

"Our sessions can support people keep their independence, better manage their or their loved one’s condition and be put in touch with others who experience similar situations.”

The service will be open to referrals from Monday and is due to be launched at the end of September.

Anyone interested in joining sessions should go to their GP or relevant healthcare professional for a referral.

If you’ve received a terminal diagnosis or have had a bereavement and need to speak to someone, call the Marie Curie Information and Support Line on 0800 090 2309.