Published Tuesday 2nd February 2021

February 2016 saw an exciting, ambitious project launched in Herefordshire.

The Hospice at Home service, a partnership between St Michael’s Hospice and Marie Curie, had one simple goal: to provide expert nursing care at home, allowing patients to remain in the place they live for as long as they wish.

Five years on, that philosophy hasn’t changed.

‘Working for Hospice at Home has taught each and every one of us how unique we are as individuals, and how important it is to provide care to suit each individual’s needs,’ said Healthcare Assistant Katie Neads, who is one of a number of staff who have been with the service from the start. Others include fellow HCA’s Laura Emmett, Lucy Rocke and Emma Jones.

The 24-hour service also features a multidisciplinary team including Hospice at Home nurses, co-ordinators, District Nurse teams, GPs and palliative care nurses. 

At its heart though is love.

‘They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,’ said Laura.

‘These words have never been so true for us.

‘Like everybody, we experience tough days. But as HCA’s we all feel extremely proud to be part of such a valuable service in our beautiful county.

‘We’ve always had in our minds a quote from Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the Hospice movement, who said: “‘You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die’.”

Katie, Laura, Lucy and Emma bonded during their training which led to them becoming the firm friends they are today. 

‘As a team, we developed a strong bond right from day one which still exists today, five years on,’ said Emma.

‘Not only has the Hospice helped me on my learning journey but they are also supporting me to do a mental health degree.’ 

Lucy said the start of their Hospice careers was vital.

‘During those first weeks we were greeted by so many happy, smiley faces,’ she said.

‘We were new to St Michael’s but felt accepted right from the start.’

They received insight into the Hospice’s services, worked shifts on the Inpatient Ward, and were introduced to patients and families. It was this experience which helped them understand the nature and importance of delivering high standards of person-centred care.

Of course, COVID has brought with it additional challenges, ones which the team has met head on.

‘Our manager, Jade, has worked extremely hard to ensure we have been updated and supported throughout, prioritising the safety of the Hospice at Home team along with our patients and their families,’ said Katie, on behalf of the four HCA’s.

‘We continue to provide the same high standards of quality care that we have provided in the last five years. And we always will.

‘Here’s to the next five years.’ 

Don’t forget, the Hospice’s free advice and support line is here to help, whether you’re living with a terminal illness, or caring for someone who is.
Just call 01432 852 080, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Hospice at Home for pauls story