Celebration of six years of Peterborough’s Hospice at Home Service - as Thorpe Hall looks to expand team

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice is celebrating six year’s of the vital Hospice at Home service - and is looking for new team members to work across the city.

By Stephen Briggs
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 3:00 pm
Sally Allen
Sally Allen

The Hospice at Home team first launched in October 2015 to provide emergency care to people at home living with a terminal illness, with just three staff.

Since then team has grown to a team of 23 Sue Ryder Nurses and Nursing Assistants.

And in the past year the team has joined forces with partners Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in response to the pandemic, helping to rapidly transform and expand end of life care being delivered in people’s homes, helping to keep people out of hospital.

Team leader Nikki Taylor said she was proud of the Sue Ryder Nurses and Nursing Assistants who do all they can to make sure patients at home receive the expert care they need, so families can focus on filling their final days with love.

She said: “The care Sue Ryder gives is supportive, reactive and completely patient-focused.

“I am so proud to be part of a brilliant team doing everything they can to make sure we offer patients and their families the very best care they could have at the end of life. We’re a team of specialists and every member is dedicated, compassionate and places the patient at the heart of everything they do.

“Providing palliative care at home is unlike any other role in nursing.

“It is a very unique and special thing to help people spend their final days at home where they have their memories around them and they’re not governed by the number of visitors they can have. It gives people familiarity and comfort at a difficult time.”

Debbie Roberts works as a Senior Nursing Assistant on the team and she agreed with Nikki. She said; “Providing palliative care at home is more personal and as care givers it helps us see the bigger picture. We see the family, their home and this helps us get a good feel of their life and their wishes.

“Helping people to stay at home means an awful lot to families too. If their loved one has decided they want to be at home when they die we try to make this possible and make it as comfortable as possible. It is a real honour to help people keep their final wishes to each other.”

Working alongside Debbie is Sally Allen, who has been with Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice at Home team since it first launched in October 2015.

She said: “When I first started the team consisted of me as Nursing Assistant and two Sue Ryder Nurses. Since then we have grown massively – especially over the last year. It’s a great team to be working with. The passion for palliative care in staff past and present has been and continues to be the same – it flows through us all.”

When Sally tells people about her job she is often met with the same response. “People say ‘I could not do that’ and I say maybe you can’t but there are people who are born to do this – it is their vocation. It’s a real calling.

“People think that our job must be all doom and gloom and yes there are times when it is sad and it can be emotionally draining, but every day there’re uplifting moments we share with our patients, their families or members of the team.

“The support we receive to do our jobs is brilliant too. We’re supported by our managers, by Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall’s Family Support Team and we all support each other too.”

Nikki said the team were now looking to expand - both in number and the range of services offered. She said; “As we continue to grow we’ll be giving more care to more people in Peterborough. At the same time we’re looking at where we can improve our care too.

“Our Sue Ryder complementary therapists are teaching the Hospice at Home team to give hand massages using essential oils. Developments like this will help us give a more holistic service to our patients.

“We’re also introducing training around different religious needs so we best support our patients who follow different faiths and be more respectful and inclusive in the care we give. It is so important we make sure our care is given according to people’s wishes. We want to make sure our care is accessible and inclusive for everyone.”

As part of its growth, Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice at Home team is currently recruiting for Senior Nursing Assistants, Bank Senior Nursing Assistants and a Senior Registered Nurse.

For more information on what it’s like working in palliative care with Sue Ryder visit www.sueryder.org/palliativecareers