Our hospital was established in 1993. The inspiration for establishing of this hospital came from Lithuanian Charitable Organisation “Caritas”. An agreement of joint activity between city Municipality and Lithuanian Caritas was concluded with the aim to provide favourable conditions to severely ill and socially abandoned people in the city of Kaunas. The priority is given to the last stages of cancer patients, patients in coma and those who are lonely and homeless. At that time our hospital was one of the fierst nursing hospitals in our country. Palliative care services have been included in its first license already. Dame Cicely Sounders visited our Hospital in1996. At the same time it was written in “Hospice Information Service” published in the UK that we are the first Hospice in Lithuania.
We admitted nine first patients in 1993. There are 50 beds at present.
We provide the following services:
- Maintenance therapy and general care;
- Palliative care;
- Dietary catering;
Nursing and care conditions meet contemporary standards.
The staff of the hospital consists of the director, director’s assistant of nursing, nursing admininstrator, two physicians, ten nurses, twenty one nursing-helpers, two physiotherapists, one social worker, one spiritual assistent and maintenance personnel as well as some volunteers. The priest of the local parish celebrates the holly Mass. The rooms are provided with local radio installation, so the bedridden patients could participate the holly Mass offered at their rooms. Religious services are provided to the patients according to their request and their confessions. We have one room where the patients gather for occupational therapy, to listen to music, concerts, for various celebrations or simply to chat.
We provide services to about 250 patients annually.
We collaborate with the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, the Vytautas Magnus University with the Priest’s Seminary in Kaunas, the Kaunas College, which trains nurses and social workers. Their students come for the practice to our hospital. The students of Priests’ Seminary help to enhance spirituality of staff and the patients. We participate actively in the work of Lithuanian Pain and Lithuanian Palliative Medicine Associations.
We maintain close relations with Information service at St. Christopher’s Hospice in London since 1993, European Association of Palliative Care, International Hospice Institute and College in the USA since 1998. Two our physicians are the members of International Association of Hospices and Palliative Care (IAHPC). On the 14-17 September thanks to IAHPC two our physicians participated in the 65th session of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania. These organizations supply us with information about advanced courses, seminars and literature about news in palliative care.
We were twinning with St. Lukes Hospice in London since 2005 and now we have twinning link with St. John Hospice (Director Mike Coward) in UK.
Our staff participates in the seminars and advanced courses of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences including the Nursing Faculty, the Vilnius University, the Vytautas Magnus University.
We have gained a lot of experience abroad: in Poland (the Karel Marcinkowsky University and Palliative Care Department in Poznan), the Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries. We won travel grant for two persons to 13th International Congress of Terminally Ill in Montreal (Canada) in 2000 and after the Congress we visited New York to get acquainted with the program “Death of America”. Four posters were prepared by physicians of our Hospital for International Conference of European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) in 2009” in Viena, two posters were prepared for the 15 th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care.