Mary Potter Hospice provides palliative care services free of charge to the people of Wellington from Seatoun to Waikanae
Palliative care is caring for people for whom curative treatment is no longer appropriate. Palliative care extends to patient’s families and whānau. We provide palliative care services free of charge to our patients through our 18 bed In-Patient Unit in Newtown, and three community palliative care teams based in Wellington, Kapiti and Porirua. Much of the support we offer takes place in our patients’ homes and each day our teams are caring for up to 260 people in communities throughout the Wellington region. In 2015/16 869 people used our service.
We are an independent charitable trust with a Board of Trustees made up of representatives from our community. The Hospice employs approximately 120 staff (90 full-time equivalent) including nurses, doctors, allied health, spiritual carers, therapists and administrators. The Hospice operations cost around $12 million a year to run. It receives around half its funding from the Government and it fundraises for the rest.
We are a secular organisation. Our values of respect, compassion, dignity, hospitality, and stewardship are very important in our work. The importance of those values stems and our founder the Venerable Mary Potter, a Roman Catholic nun who established the Order of the Little Company of Mary in England in 1877. Her life’s work was to give comfort and compassion to the poor and the vulnerable, the elderly, and those who were dying.
The Little Company of Mary took their work across the world and in Wellington they established palliative care at Calvary Hospital in Newtown for the terminally ill. Mary Potter Hospice was formally opened in 1979 to continue this service.
We are influenced by the medical philosophy of the modern hospice movement. This started through the work of Dame Cicely Saunders and St Christopher’s Hospice in London in the 1960s. Its approach to the care of the terminally ill is ‘holistic’, bringing together a wide range of medical skills and disciplines.