People in need of palliative and end of life care are being welcomed back to Boston’s Butterfly Hospice.

NHS organisations, working in partnership with the Butterfly Hospice Trust, are reopening the inpatient service at the six-bed hospice.

In addition, the team will also be exploring how the service can be developed and expanded to further support palliative care in Lincolnshire in the future.

Tracy Pilcher, director of nursing, allied health professionals and operations at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), said: “While we remain vigilant and responsive to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we are pleased to welcome people back to the Butterfly Hospice, which we know is well loved and greatly valued service in the local community.

“During the inpatient unit’s temporary closure, we have continued to provide care and support for our patients and their families in the community, with the LCHS nursing team usually based at the hospice redeployed to support other local services.

“We have been working closely with The Butterfly Hospice Trust charity and NHS partners to ensure the service’s safe return and look forward to continuing to work in partnership to further develop palliative care services in Lincolnshire to be more responsive, offer more choice and deliver excellent, dignified care to those who need it.”

In April, The Butterfly Hospice Trust’s Board of Trustees, in consultation with LCHS, had to take the very difficult decision to temporarily close the inpatient unit in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bridget MacPherson, chief executive officer of The Butterfly Hospice Trust, said: “We give our sincere thanks to the local community for their continued support and loyalty, which is crucial for our much-loved hospice.

“It has been a difficult year but the charity has spent a very busy few months during the closure of the inpatient unit to reassess and re-evaluate. One major development was to increase the capacity of our Boston warehouse to enable more donations from the public. We are also opening a new retail shop in Bourne and have relocated our existing shop in Skegness to larger premises.

“Throughout this time, the hospice site remained open while our retail shops continued to trade. Although our fundraising efforts have been impacted significantly, we have planned a programme of activities for 2021, and look forward to a better year ahead.

“We were really pleased to welcome our volunteers back to help tend our gardens at the hospice; this was in readiness for our annual Butterfly Release which celebrates the lives of those we cherish. It was a magical day, being able to meet with our families, supporters and clinical staff once again.

“We are looking forward to working in partnership with LCHS’s nursing team to support patients and their families once more.”