‘It’s vital people can die in their homes... we are there to help them’

NEW FACES From left, The Rowans team manager Jacquie Upton and co-ordinator Zena Dawson.   Picture: Paul Jacobs (112475-5)
NEW FACES From left, The Rowans team manager Jacquie Upton and co-ordinator Zena Dawson. Picture: Paul Jacobs (112475-5)
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MEET the new nurses who prove Dorothy’s Dream is becoming a reality.

Jacquie Upton and Zena Dawson have been appointed to lead the new team of Rowans Hospice nurses who will help terminally-ill people die in their own homes.

Now with the £1m to fund the Hospice at Home service firmly in sight, Jacquie and Zena are looking forward to launching in September.

Jacquie, who has worked at the Rowans for four and a half years and will be the Rowans Hospice at Home team manager, said: ‘We’re very excited about the new service and cannot wait to start.

‘I’m coming from already having worked at the hospice. I have been working as a nurse and also heading the social worker team which involves things like arranging discharges.

‘I applied for this new role because it combines nursing and social care.

‘In the new role I’ll be responsible for setting everything up, getting everything into place and pulling together service plans.’

Jacquie, alongside Zena, will head a team of about 12 nurses who will provide care in the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – working with community nurses and GPs.

There will also be volunteers supporting the service by helping patients and families by doing chores around the home, making meals, or sitting with the patient or keeping the relative company.

The level of care given to each patient and family will vary.

Jacquie said: ‘The care will be very much tailored to the person.

‘If they want us to pop in occasionally, we will. If they want 24-hour support, then we’ll do that.’

Zena, who will be the co-ordinator of the new service, will bring to it end-of-life care experience she has gained from working at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

Having seen people die in hospital, she knows only too well how much this home service is needed.

She said: ‘I know that there are a lot of people who would like to die at home but they can’t because they need nursing support.

‘I’ve always had a passion for end-of-life care and think it’s vital people are allowed to stay in control of their lives and die in their preferred place. With this service we’ll be able to help them do that.

‘We are very excited about it launching.

‘It will be an honour to care for people in their homes.’

Jacquie and Zena are now urging people to back the Rowans’ Big Push and help the Dorothy’s Dream appeal reach £1m, which will cover the running costs of the home service for two years.

To donate to the appeal call (023) 9223 8531 or visit rowanshospice.co.uk

The public can also support the hospice’s big bed push event on Saturday, which will see teams of people pushing a bed from the hospice in Purbrook to Canoe Lake in Southsea. Donations will be collected along the way.