East Lancashire Hospice

Adapting during the pandemic - A Colleagues Story

Denise decides to go back to her roots

We all know how incredibly difficult these past few months have been, but despite the toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken in so many ways across the country, our doors at East Lancashire Hospice have very much remained open and we have continued to provide care in the best way we can to our most vulnerable patients, including 24-hour care within our Inpatient Unit (IPU) as well as support in the local community.

Like most hospices we have had to adapt what we do and how we do it and that includes many of our colleagues taking a flexible approach to their roles.

One of these many colleagues is Denise who is a Registered Nurse with a background in Intensive Care nursing, Education and Risk Management.  Denise has worked at East Lancashire Hospice for 13 years and in April 2019 took on the role of Quality and Compliance Lead.

Denise explains “The Quality and Compliance role has two distinct elements.  Compliance involves ensuring there is evidence to demonstrate to our regulatory bodies that the hospice is delivering the best possible level of patient care and importantly supporting staff to deliver high quality care to our patients and those who matter to them.

The priority for my first 12 months in post, was to focus on compliance and evidencing the high standards of care at the hospice. To do this I sought the views of patients and those important to them and staff.  Since the start of 2020, the quality aspect of the role has been my focus”.

Due to the pandemic, which has put additional pressure on our Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Assistants, it was planned for Denise to return to nursing and in fact this has been implemented earlier than expected.  Since the start of November, Denise has been supporting her clinical colleagues by working 2 days a week on the Inpatient Unit. Drawing on her experiences in nursing and education she is able to put theory into practice, working alongside staff and supporting colleagues to maintain quality and deliver excellent care in these difficult times. 

Denise describes her return to nursing as “a different way of doing the same role.” As Denise delivers palliative care education as part of her role, she has a strong knowledge in this area. Despite this, Denise was obviously nervous about returning to practice nursing. “I am very grateful to my colleagues who have welcomed me to the Inpatient Unit and supported me to put theory into practice and build my confidence over the last few weeks”.  Denise is really enjoying working with her colleagues refreshing and developing her nursing skills and hopes together they can further enhance the quality of patient care. 

Denise said “My favourite part about being back in a clinical environment is the ability to connect with colleagues and patients face to face, which has been really lovely.  Nothing compares to the feeling of being able to talk with people and see the impact of what we do here at the hospice first hand. “

“At the start of what was a very busy first week, we had a number of patients with uncontrolled symptoms and within a period of 48 hours, I witnessed how our team of Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Assistants were able to bring their symptoms under control which is testament to the contribution of each and every one of them in the team. This allows individuals to then focus on making the most of life!”

Denise went on to add “During my first week on IPU, I was involved in admitting and discharging patients. This allowed me to familiarise myself with the documentation and witness first-hand the compassionate communication required to identify and meet the all the needs of the patient and those important to them.”   Denise also worked with Rachel our hospice Palliative Care Physiotherapist and observed her conduct an in-depth assessment in preparation for a patient’s discharge to ensure that when the time came for him to return home, he had the support he needed to be safe in his own home. 

Denise finished by adding “I am definitely enjoying the experience and have had positive feedback from the staff on my contribution, which is really encouraging.  I hope this is the beginning of a positive and supportive way of working that will help demonstrate compliance in practice and drive quality forward through sharing of knowledge, skills and experience”.

For further information please contact Katie Elliott – Marketing & Communications Lead on:

Telephone: 01254 287015

Email: Katie.Elliott@eastlancshospice.org.uk 

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