We work as a team to provide specialised and holistic care to our patients. All staff members work together to address the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of our patients and their families.
We are a dedicated team of doctors, working in the inpatient units and community teams. Your care in the hospice is overseen and directed by the consultant in Palliative Medicine. Working alongside the consultants are junior and senior doctors who are training in Palliative Medicine. Some of us work part of the week as palliative care doctors in acute hospitals, including St James’s or St Vincent’s. We are specially trained in pain management and symptom control, such as using medication to control nausea or breathlessness. We are also here to talk with you and your family about any questions or worries you have about your illness: questions relating to treatments, why you are feeling ill, what can be done to help or what to expect in the future.
The Department is led by the Director of Nursing, AHPs & Quality and endeavours to provide efficient and effective quality nursing care to patients/residents and their families in line with the ethos and mission statement of the Hospice.
We embrace continuous quality improvement and the management of change, necessary to achieve our organisational objectives. The Department of Nursing is responsible for developing policy/guidelines in accordance with best practice in partnership with our multidisciplinary colleagues.
Our service is patient focused with an emphasis on providing a clean environment of care, ensuring best practice and improving clinical care standards while treating patients/residents with dignity and respect.
The department aims to enhance and develop nursing practices with the aim of providing a quality service. We promote/facilitate optimum learning environments for all our nurses recognising the increasing specialisation and complexity of the chronic disease model. We seek to empower our nurses to lead innovate and develop change where this will improve the quality, timeliness and safety of patient care.
To achieve this we have a central department of senior nurses who oversee quality and practice. The team focuses on infection control, haemovigilance, tissue viability, practice development and quality standards.
The site management team of nurses also operate out of the central department to oversee day to day running of nursing and safety issues. All of this is supported by the risk and health records department who work as part of the team.
The nursing team is made up of Registered Nurses, Care Assistants, Clinical Nurse Specialists and an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. We plan the staffing mix carefully, so as to provide best levels of care to meet your needs. The focus of our care is patient-centered, so you are encouraged to be involved in the development of a plan of care that is best suited to your particular needs. Our aim is to help you feel safe and comfortable, at a time when you may have difficult symptoms and many concerns.
The care assistant team work closely with their nursing colleagues in providing the nursing care and support that you may need. We are here to help you meet your basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, toileting and dressing. We help you follow the care plan agreed between you and the nurse, and we provide valuable feedback to the nursing team. There is always a care assistant, on duty 24/7, to help you with your needs.
The Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) has a high level of experience and specialist training and is able to provide the specially focused knowledge and skills required to help improve the quality of your care. Working closely with the medical and other members of the team, the CNS may advise/make alterations to the care plan, with your agreement, as symptoms change or the illness progresses. The role of the CNS involves careful communication, conveying your values and decisions to other healthcare workers and service providers.
The Advanced Nurse Practitioner’s role is similar to that of the CNS. The ANP is educated to Master’s level and works beyond the scope of the CNS. The ANP promotes wellness and offers healthcare interventions, including breathlessness and pain management, to maintain quality of life. While working as a part of the multidisciplinary team, the ANP carries their own caseload, run independent clinics, provide clinical leadership to the nursing team and identify and initiate change to ensure that the best clinical practice is achieved.
Through the use of holistic body and mind therapies, such as massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, music and art therapies, palliative care patients can experience physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellness, thereby enhancing their quality of life. These therapies are person-centred: Patients can participate in whatever way they feel best suits their needs and goals.
The Household Department takes great pride in providing the highest standard of service throughout the Hospice complex. Upon joining, each new employee undergoes a rigorous training programme, which includes health and safety, hygiene and infection control, food preparation and patient care. Household staff work extremely hard to ensure that the maximum level of cleanliness is maintained at all times throughout the Hospice.
A life-limiting condition can impact on your ability to engage in important everyday activities, affecting your overall quality of life. The Occupational Therapist can enhance your independence and quality of life through assessment, goal setting and intervention tailored and responsive to your changing individual needs. Working together, the Occupational Therapist will use rehabilitation, compensation, adaptation and maintenance approaches to help you to maximise your functional independence in the areas of your life that are meaningful to you and your family. We can offer education and practical advice on managing symptoms, including breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety and pain, to enable you to continue to engage and participate in your daily activities, role and routines within the family and community. As appropriate, we can provide home assessment and assistive equipment to promote your functional independence & safety, minimise effort and facilitate your care needs within the home environment
Palliative Care pharmacists visit the wards regularly to advise the doctors and nurses on the prescription and administration of medicines. They are also available to discuss medicines with patients and their families. Always promoting the safe and most effective use of medicines, the pharmacy team ensures that medicines are available to patients while they are inpatients and after their discharge. A nationwide advice service on medicines for doctors, nurses and pharmacists, Palliative Meds Info, is also located in the pharmacy.
The physiotherapy team is committed to helping you maximise your movement potential and enhance your quality of life. This is achieved by managing physical challenges such as pain, weakness, breathlessness, lymphoedema and fatigue, caused by illness and the treatment of illness. We provide an individual assessment to determine what your specific needs are and develop a treatment plan based on the outcome of this assessment. Your physiotherapist will work closely with you, using physical approaches such as therapeutic exercise (gym-based and hydrotherapy), mobilisation techniques as well as electrical modalities, to help you achieve your identified movement and functional goals.
A serious illness affects not just your body but also your mind. Everyone gradually adapts to the shock and distress of their situation, but some people have difficulties, bad dreams, feelings of tension and anxiety or become very down. Talking helps, and the Palliative Care team has a dedicated psychologist with experience helping people to find the words to express their distress and manage difficult thoughts and feelings.
The Palliative Care social worker offers counselling and psychosocial support to assist with social, emotional and practical issues. This may include facilitating family meetings, advising on how to talk to children about serious illness, talking through worries arising from the illness, providing information on entitlements or advocating on your behalf. As part of the social work service, we also offer bereavement support and counselling to adults and children.
We support the multidisciplinary Palliative Care team in caring for you. Ours may be the first voice that family members hear when they telephone the community team or that visitors meet at reception on the ward. We also look after the charts and paperwork, help to organise transport, and generally support the day-to-day running of the ward and community activities.
Volunteers are a cheerful supportive group of people who freely give their time, thereby contributing to the smooth running of the Hospice. Not health care professionals in uniform, volunteers wear ordinary clothes and identifying name badges. Their duties in Palliative Care include: