A hospice has launched a seven-day a week home care service.

St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood Road, Hastingwood, launched Hospice at Home yesterday, which provides patients end-of-life care in their homes.

The service has been extended from five days a week thanks to grant funding from West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and is available from 8am to 8pm every day, with patients receiving between one and three visits depending on their requirements.

St Clare's director of patient care Louise Cameron said: "Many people would prefer to be cared for at home during the last few weeks of their lives but in the past that has not always been possible due to a lack of resources.

“We can make a huge difference to our patients and their families by helping avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and out-of-hour crisis calls, enabling them to spend their last days at home even when their symptoms are difficult to manage.”

The hospice at Home service is available to anyone over 18 with a life-limiting condition registered with a west Essex GP.

The hospice has also launched St Clare Community Friends which is a volunteer scheme in which people will offer support to hospice users by helping with practical tasks such as shopping or dog walking.