03:03PM, Monday 18 October 2021
Debbie Raven, Thames Hospice CEO, with health secretary Sajid Javid MP
An 'exclusive dinner' was attended by political figures at the House of Lords last week to raise awareness of the role facilities such as Thames Hospice play in the health sector.
Maidenhead MP Theresa May and cabinet health secretary Sajid Javid MP were at the event on Wednesday, which was hosted by Lord and Lady Ranger, who are ambassadors for the charity.
The dinner was attended by more than 100 guests to celebrate the work of frontline staff at Thames Hospice, based at Bray Lake, and to launch a new major giving initiative.
During the evening, speeches highlighted the roles of hospices within the UK health and social care system, their response to the pandemic and the long term changes needed to the sector itself.
Debbie Raven, Thames Hospice chief executive, said: “Today, right now, we have many people experiencing serious illnesses as a result of the pandemic.
"With our ageing population we will see as many people dying every day in 10 years time as at the peak of the first wave.
"It is essential that hospices are given a seat at the table to help plan our healthcare so that people living with a serious illness get the care and support they need.”
Former Prime Minister Mrs May added: “I have watched and supported as Thames Hospice has adapted and grown its services in the last two years to make sure that no patient or family member feels alone with a terminal illness.
"This responsive pragmatic approach to a fast changing health care environment is the excellence we should all be striving for.”
Recently-appointed health secretary Mr Javid said: “I am very encouraged to hear about the innovative and proactive work of Thames Hospice to understand their patients and then adapt services - it reminds us all of the essential health partnerships around the country that keep our communities well cared for."
The evening also launched the Thames Hospice Patrons Club - which is a new major giving initiative aimed at sustaining inpatient care to help people facing a life-limiting condition live 'the best possible quality of life' and support their families.
Co-host Lord Rami Ranger said: “The work of Thames Hospice is fundamental in supporting individuals through the most traumatic time.
"We couldn’t think of a better way to support, and encourage our peers to become patrons like we are.”
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.