I first came to the Hospice 11 years ago, initially working as a bank nurse on the IPU but when a permanent role in Day Hospice came up I took it and haven’t looked back since! I am now Day Hospice Sister and I couldn’t be prouder of my team, especially after the challenges we have faced over the past 18 months.
As Day Hospice was forced to close, all our services were reduced to telephone contact in those first few months of lockdown, which was difficult for everyone involved. We weren’t happy with the level of care we were able to provide so my college Teena, and I developed Virtual Day Hospice, which enabled us to meet our patients, and them to meet each other, via Zoom, each week. Caring via a screen is very different to in person but it was a much better alternative to the phone, and I remember the first time we saw our patients faces on the screen being such an emotional moment!
As tough as the months have been, we have learnt a lot and have been driven to trial more services out in the community and despite the physical distance we still had many touching moments with our patients.
Last December I experienced that care personally when my Mother in Law, Joyce, was admitted to the IPU and sadly died. The love, care and compassion myself and my family were shown throughout this time was unmeasurable and the little things that staff do every day without thinking really do make a difference - such as brushing a patients hair, holding their hand, helping with PPE when relatives are struggling to open their aprons! The little things are really what make the difference and that is what makes Overgate Hospice such a special place!