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Staff Stories


Sarah, Associate Lead Nurse, Hospice at Home

04 September 2017

Hospice at Home is a service that provides hands-on night care, for patients dying at home: quite often you might hear us explaining that we are a not a night “sitting” service: we definitely do more than that!

You are most likely to see me in the Arthur Rank Community Team office, on the phone taking referrals: the most I’ve ever taken in one day was five. We spend time talking to families on the phone having some difficult discussions surrounding end of life. In this service all of our patients are in the last 2-3 weeks of life. Sometimes when we get a referral it can be that the patient is dying but the family may not yet be at the stage of recognising this. 

We cover a large area including Huntingdon, Peterborough, Fenlands, Ely, in fact Cambridgeshire as a whole so liaise closely with District Nurses, GP’s and Community Nurse Specialists about symptom management. I will also go into the homes of patients and their families to offer emotional and psychological support, as well as to asses where a patient is at in a certain stage of their disease and if they have any symptoms which need managing. We also do bereavement follow up calls.

You will quite frequently see me talking to the large white board in our office: it’s like a scene from Shirley Valentine!! I haven’t lost the plot - I am actually looking at who needs the care for that night. Sometimes we can have as many as 18 patients care for on one night.

Being able to support patients who wish to die at home to fulfil this wish, and support their families through this difficult stage. It truly is a privilege to work as part of such a caring team: listening to the feedback that we get about the Healthcare Assistants and thanks for support we receive into the office makes me proud and know that it makes such a difference. Families can feel exhausted if they have been awake caring for many nights. Just to know that someone is there means a lot.



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