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Our Hospice at Home Team...

Meet the people behind the service


Chris - Administrator

14 May 2019

Chris is the Administrator, providing important office support to the Hospice at Home team...

Where are you based? 
I work in the Community Team office at Arthur Rank Monday-Friday as the Administrator for the Hospice at Home Team.

What do you actually do? 
I provide full administrative support to the whole team that consists of the Clinical Nurse Specialists in the office and the Healthcare Assistants and Nurses who work nights in patients’ homes. I am usually the first point of contact for calls in to the office; be it from healthcare professionals or patient’s families.

We work off a centralised patient data system, SystmOne, which is shared with GP surgeries. It is my responsibility to ensure the patient caseload is kept up to date and to action administrative tasks received from internal and external sources. I also maintain a record of the service’s activity in terms of: the number of patients we have referred in any one month, how long they are on the caseload for, recording dates of death, if a patient’s preferred place of death was achieved and how many nights of care we gave each patient or how many nights we did not have capacity to provide care. This information is all fed back to the monthly Care Board meetings.

In addition to the electronic system we have a whiteboard, which is a more visual system to plan care on a daily basis as the caseload can change quite fluidly over the course of the day. The Clinical Nurse Specialists can then see at a glance, the patients currently on the case load and the number of staff available to work that night, to enable them to make their decisions over care.  I keep the board up to date and write up the staff rotas at the start of each week.

Once care has been allocated for the night, I prepare our ‘night care’ documents. These are a record for the On-call Nurse and include patients’ basic details and information about which healthcare assistant has been allocated to which patient. This document is also held on the Inpatient Unit at the Hospice in case there are any issues overnight and staff need to be contacted. This is part of our lone worker policy to protect staff who are working alone at night; I also ensure that emergency contact details are kept up to date and look after the lone worker devices that are issued to night staff. The healthcare assistants are also given details of where their colleagues are working that night and a list of road closures (it can be quite a challenge for them to get to patients sometimes!). 

We plan staff rotas about two months in advance. Once a month has been published, I send out a blank rota for the following month and ask staff to provide their requests for time off or annual leave. Once these have been sent in then, I start to plan who is working when. It is not an easy job (especially the Christmas rota) but I do try hard to give people a working pattern that I know suits them (each has their personal preferences) as well as ensuring that the service is adequately covered. I also try to keep an eye on when everyone’s mandatory training is due and schedule this in to the rota, liaising with Education on course availability. The rota for the month is then transferred to SystmOne so that staff can book visits into their diaries.

I also organise inductions of any new starters to the team, maintain annual leave records, record absences, process timesheets and travel claims and keep the stock cupboard up to date. My colleague Pat and I take it in turn once a fortnight, to attend the multi-disciplinary team meeting and we make notes of the team’s discussions in the patient’s notes. This is a very humbling experience; to hear the challenges faced by some of our patients, and to witness the compassion and commitment of the team. 

We are very fortunate in receiving some lovely letters and thank you cards, and this feedback is always passed back to the team members who went in to a particular family. I know this is something the team greatly appreciate and they often reply to say how much they were pleased to be able to support the family. It’s always evident to me that it is not just a job to them. They are a really caring, dedicated and special bunch of people.

What’s special about your role and what keeps you doing it? 
It’s not your average admin job! Speaking to relatives at a time of great anxiety for them, having to tell them that they may not have care that night or taking the call when they ring to tell us their loved one has died are all part and parcel of the day. I had been involved with the Hospice before I joined the team, but there were still little things that surprised and touched me. 

I aim to try and make life as easy as I can for the team. The night staff are on their own in the community for nine hours overnight – they are the person that families and carers are relying on - and they have to keep a calm head. We often comment in the office that we would want them to look after us or our loved ones. There can’t really be a better recommendation than that can there? 

The Nurses in our Hospice at Home office are forced to make difficult decisions each day that most of us wouldn’t want responsibility for. I have seen them agonise over this at times. It is a complex balance of variables that they do not take lightly. As a team I think we all work well together and are supportive of each other. It is certainly a varied and rewarding role and it is a privilege to play some part, in providing a service which we would all like to be there for our loved ones.



Help Us Be There Team

Amanda – Healthcare Assistant
Sarah - Clinical Nurse Specialist
Ann - On-call Nurse
Chris - Administrator
Lorraine - Matron
Kate - Complementary Therapist
Keith - Chaplain