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A message from our In Patient Unit: Kim Hancock – Senior Nurse

From the In Patient Unit
Kim Hancock, Senior Nurse

Kim normally heads up the team in the King Centre providing Day Hospice services but has been redeployed to work on the In Patient Unit.

In many ways, things are very much ‘business as usual’ on the In Patient Unit at Hospice. Every day, I am inspired by the amazing team spirit on the Unit as we work together to continue to provide care to those staying with us. Despite what many may think, there is such a warm and positive atmosphere here as everyone goes out of their way to make sure that each patient receives individualised care and can live life to the full, even during this challenging situation.

As usual, our patients are a real source of inspiration to us all – while separated from their families and friends, they are embracing technology and making use of FaceTime to chat to their loved ones and, as always, sharing their amazing and humbling life stories with us all. They have been very appreciative of the hearts that have been sent in for them and their loved ones and delighted by the variety of designs. In the last couple of weeks we’ve received many gifts for us and our patients, including Easter Eggs from Voisins Law, as well as letters of support and friendship including a letter from a teenager who just wanted to send our patients some love as she recognised how hard it must be for them away from their families.

The biggest changes we’ve seen are around the redeployment of other Hospice staff members onto the team and that we are now in PPE all day, every day. A number of our team have had to stop coming onto the unit due to their own underlying health conditions and we’ve been delighted to have members of the King Centre (Day Hospice) team join us as well as two members from the Education Team (who are qualified nurses) to make sure that we are able to continue our specialist 24/7 care. In addition, we’ve had three other Hospice members join us to provide administrative support.

Wearing PPE is now just a matter of course to us all. It’s uncomfortable and impersonal, but we are grateful to have the right equipment and we do our best to make ourselves identifiable to each patient so that they know us by name, even if not by face. It is a challenging situation, but I find myself thinking about how privileged I am to do my job, to serve our community in this way and work with amazing colleagues who effortlessly balance professionalism and compassion. In short, we’re still here, and still caring for our community.