Published on: Thursday 19 Jan 2017 at 11:53
Sonia and Sam reflect on 3 years of Hospice at Home
Our Hospice at Home service launched in January 2014 and provides expert care to our patients in the comfort of their own homes – allowing them to spend precious time with their families in the place of their choice.
St Clare Hospice at Home Manager, Sonia Haigh, and Hospice at Home Administrator, Sam Tyrell, have been with the team since day one. On reaching the team’s 3rd birthday, Sonia and Sam look back on how far the service has come, what difference it has made to the lives of our patients, and what the future holds for our care in the community.
Q: How has the Hospice at Home team grown over the past 3 years?
Sam: The team has really evolved from where we started in January 2014. We provided care from 8am-8pm seven days a week when we first started and we received around 20 referrals per month. Now we average nearly 60 referrals per month and the team has expanded to include 12 Healthcare Assistants, two Registered Nurses and two more part time Administrators. This has meant we can now offer a 24 hour service, with a night service from 10pm-7am, which has proven to be in great demand.
Q: What difference does Hospice at Home care make to our patients?
Sonia: Hospice at Home care really makes a difference to patients. It can be a daunting and frightening time for people when they are sent home from hospital – so having our support means they can take back some control at a difficult time in their lives. Having the choice to be cared for at home means they can be surrounded by their loved ones.
Q: What difference does Hospice at Home make to families and loved ones?
Sam: Hospice at Home makes such a difference for the relatives of our patients. Families receive the life changing news that their loved one has a terminal diagnosis and all of a sudden they are thrown into a world which they have no idea how to navigate. Our team is very good at explaining that system and helping people through. Having the Healthcare Assistants providing personal nursing care also helps loved ones to step back from being the ‘carer’.
Q: Tell us something people don’t know about Hospice at Home…
Sam: People are often surprised that we offer a community service. I think people believe the hospice is just a ward with hospital beds, with one way in, and one way out. We have to explain to people that they can come in to the hospice for symptom treatment and then go home again, and most importantly people can have hospice care as an outpatient and in their own homes.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of working at St Clare?
Sonia: The most rewarding thing is being able to help someone who is struggling along on their own – our services and care make a huge difference to them. Being able to listen to someone, understand their problems, and then give them the support to get through it, is so rewarding. You can see that a weight has been lifted off their shoulders and they are so grateful.
Q: What do you hope for the future of the Hospice at Home team?
Sonia: Looking to the future I hope the Hospice at Home team will continue to grow and care for more people. We know that the patients we see are just the tip of the iceberg – there are more families out there who need our care. We want the St Clare Hospice community team to be better known in the local area and to have a bigger presence in the healthcare environment so that more people are referred to us and get the help they need and deserve.