Rowans Marketing Director Theresa Bailey joined the hospice 18 months ago. Here she shares her insights into hospice practices, which deepened her own understanding and appreciation of the Rowans’ approach to care
Being fairly new to the hospice, I am still learning about all the different services we provide here and how we deliver them. Recently I attended two different meetings held by our clinical staff as an observer and I want to share what I have learnt.
The first meeting was a weekly Multidisciplinary Team Meeting. This meeting brings together all of the teams involved in patient care to discuss each person who is staying on the ward.
This includes doctors, clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapists, social care, occupational therapy, psychology and spiritual support. The discussion around each patient is thorough but compassionate, not only discussing their physical condition and symptom management but also how they are emotionally.
The conversations also include a discussion of family members of the patient and how they are dealing with their situation and what kind of support they might need.
As always, I was extremely impressed with the high level of expert care, concern and kindness demonstrated by all of the staff. It clearly demonstrated that our care is definitely not just about the biology but also the biography of each patient.
The second meeting I attended was a Patient Review Meeting. This is where the same teams as before come together to discuss a complex case that has thrown up some difficulties that the team have had to manage.
This meeting was about the different teams supporting each other and discussing how the difficulties had made them feel. It is about making the staff feel supported and looking for learning opportunities.
What this demonstrated to me was how intense their work is and how sometimes the conversations they have to have with patients and family members are incredibly difficult, especially as they have no prior relationship with those to whom they are giving care.
Often, a family GP can know a patient for years and sometimes their entire life, but our medical staff may have only known these people for a few days. Again, I was extremely impressed with the level of care and compassion demonstrated by all staff, not only for those they are looking after but also for each other.
We are now six months into our Silver Jubilee Appeal and we have published 30 stories about our services, told by those who have experienced them or those who deliver them. So thank you to every person who has understood how important this is and have shared their experiences to help us educate and inspire. We have a lot more to say, so please keep reading our page every Friday.
What has been fantastic is that, through sharing these stories, more people within our community are learning about and accessing our care as attendance at our Living Well Centre has increased each month. In February, we supported 600 people!
Every day now there is a lovely buzz of people in the centre getting the advice and support they need early on in their health journey, or attending one of the activities that we offer.
The Living Well Centre presents the opportunity to get support early on for both the patient and their carer, helping them to live as well as they can with their condition.
Also, thank you to all the News readers who have been inspired by the Silver Jubilee Appeal and decided to support us in whatever way they can. The appeal is going well and I am very happy to tell you all that the fundraising has now passed the £500,000 mark. Great news but still a long way to go!
We have also been amazed by the response to the ‘donate your unwanted silver’ campaign that we launched with The News in January. Nesbits auctioneers in Southsea will be putting the silver plate items into lots and putting them into sales this month and next.
The hallmarked silver items will go to auction in June - we will advertise the dates nearer the time. Meanwhile please keep the silver donations coming in.
We have some new events coming up over the next few months so please keep reading our page. We want everyone to feel inspired and take on the challenge of ‘pledge to do one thing’ for our appeal. Please keep supporting and sharing our stories, it really does makes a difference.
I want to end this article by saying that in these uncertain times, there is the certainty that our community does and will continue to need the care that the hospice is providing.
That is a certainty. By doing something to support this cause, it creates a good feeling. So let’s do what we can and feel good!