Alice was working for the NHS as an Occupational Therapy Team lead for Oncology and palliative care at the local hospital when she heard about a new Senior Therapist role being advertised at St Clare Hospice. “I was interested because it was an exciting role, developing new services for the Wellbeing Hub at St Clare Hospice.”
Alice had experienced St Clare Hospice’s expert palliative care in the past, when a family member was cared for at the Hospice. She also volunteered within the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit, and with the day and complementary therapies department.
“I was inspired by the compassion and quality of care that people received,” recalls Alice. “From that point onwards, I would regularly check the Hospice’s website to find out about any vacancies.”
Since Alice joined St Clare Hospice, in August 2021, she has been developing the new programme of groups and community events in order to support people to live well with their terminal illnesses, as part of the Hospice’s new Wellbeing Hub.
“My passion is for working with people affected by life-limiting conditions. The role has provided me with the opportunity to use the skills and experiences I’ve had from my previous roles to develop services to support a wide range of people in the community.”
Alice concedes that she had some concerns over leaving the NHS, having worked for the health service for almost 20 years.
“The opportunity that the role presented, the working environment and the fact that I could continue with my NHS pension plan enabled me to be confident about my decision to move on to St Clare Hospice.
Remembering the recruitment process, Alice admits that she was surprised at the speed. “I found the recruitment process very efficient,” Alice recalls. “The HR team were an amazing source of support and information throughout the process and my new manager was available to answer any questions I had. From the day of the conditional offer to receiving a formal offer was only two weeks!”
Since starting, Alice has found the induction process ‘clear and very straight-forward’. “I’ve been made to feel very welcome by all, regardless of role and levels” explains Alice. “And it’s been easy to ease myself into the role with the mandatory online training, which gave me the flexibility to do it in bite-sized pieces.”
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference when it comes to a good place to work: “I arrived on my first day at the Hospice to find that I could park my car easily, with the biggest dilemma being which space would be best!
“I’m now surrounded by the Hospice’s beautiful grounds and get to work in the Hospice’s beautiful working spaces – this is something that makes working as a Therapist much less stressful, knowing that I am able to work with patients in a space that will help them to relax.”
“All the staff are friendly and supportive as well,” explains Alice. “They are so passionate about the work they do. I really enjoy the variety of experiences, working in the Community service, the Inpatient Unit and the Wellbeing Hub. And my role is varied too, with a nice balance between my clinical work supporting patients and my work as a team lead, looking at service development and how therapists can support the work of other teams in the Hospice.
“The Therapies team at the Hospice is a small team and there’s a lot of opportunity for us to evaluate our services and support each other to work creatively to provide information on best practice.”
Alice has found that the variety of training available to her has already helped her to feel confident in her role. “I’m well supported by my line manager, having regular 1-2-1s to help me understand my role and the support and training available. In addition to mandatory training, I’ve received supervision and joined in with the Schwartz round – to help me reflect on my role and my experiences with patients. I’ve taken part in our Journal club – to help me keep up to date with new development in palliative care and therapy – and our leadership peer support group, so that I can learn from other leaders in the Hospice. I’ve also got the opportunity to book onto external training and build links with external teams so that I still feel like I’m able to keep up with developments in the Health system.”
“Above all,” concludes Alice. “St Clare Hospice has presented me with an exciting opportunity to use my professional skills and work in a caring and compassionate environment. It’s been a great move for me.”
– Alice Jones, Senior Therapist at St Clare Hospice
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