Meet the Palliative Care Team
Meet the Palliative Care Team
Meet the Palliative Care Team
Winchester Hospice will be a hub for palliative care when it opens therefore, who better to hear from than our wonderful palliative care team at Winchester Hospital. We got in touch with three of the key people who are the driving force behind opening a hospice for the people of Winchester.
Maddy Thomson: The Clinical Expert
From previous blog posts you will now know that Maddy Thomson was one of the first campaigners for a hospice in Winchester, bringing up the lack of palliative care services within the city fourteen years ago, she is now the clinical matron for palliative care at Royal Hampshire County Hospital. She has been interested in the services she provides since studying in London, where she experienced many deaths in the hospital that she was a student nurse in and believed that their facilities could have been utilised more productively had there been more preparation, anticipation and education. Maddy then continued to read around the topic of end of life care and was inspired by Dame Cicely Saunders work, who after World War 2 qualified as a doctor at St Christopher’s and was awarded a research scholarship to work on pain control for the terminally ill. Dame Cicely planned that St Christopher’s would be the first research and teaching hospice linking expert pain and symptom control, compassionate care, teaching and clinical research, pioneering the field of palliative care, and this motivation and compassion can be seen within the work that Maddy and the rest of the palliative care do on a day to day basis.
Maddy loves the teaching aspect of her job, and when asked about the most rewarding aspect of being a clinical matron she said that it was ‘patient and family care, having time to listen, and helping people prioritise what matters most to them’. However, she finds that the biggest challenge of her occupation is finding enough time each day as the need for a hospice and larger palliative care facilities is vital to the people of Winchester. She also discusses how in her job you must remember to never become complacent, and no matter how busy she gets, to ensure that compassionate patient-focused care is always at the heart and forefront of what she provides for her patients.
As for when the hospice opens Maddy will continue working as the Clinical Matron of palliative care, spending 80 per cent of her time at work clinically. She will be the matron of the hospice, working closely with her consultant and nurse colleagues, all of whom share her excitement and determination that the hospice will be opening next year through the fundraising efforts of everybody on both the fundraising and palliative care teams. Maddy looks forward to leading the other services that the hospice will hopefully enable, such as community palliative care, day care, and the hospice at home scheme.
To read more about the services that Winchester Hospice will provide when open, visit our Caring for our Community page on our website - https://winchesterhospice.com/caring-for-our-community/
Eloise Clarke: The Manager
We spoke to Eloise Clarke, the Operational Service Manager for the palliative care service, which will include the Winchester Hospice when it opens. The palliative care service includes end of life care and this service is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, which is the highest accolade awarded in regard to health and social care services around the United Kingdom. Eloise's involvement with Winchester Hospice currently is supporting the fundraising team. She has also recently been enjoying meeting many of our new volunteer ambassadors, by offering information sessions to provide volunteers with the knowledge of what we do, how to spread the word about Winchester Hospice, and what they can do to help with fundraising.
If you would like to be involved with becoming an ambassador for Winchester Hospice, please get in touch at Winchester.Hospice@hhft.nhs.uk, or call us on 01962 82835.
Eloise says the most rewarding part of her job is when the staff in the team get recognised by colleagues or patients and relatives in thank you notes and award nominations. The most challenging aspect of her job is juggling the money to provide patients across Hampshire an equitable service. A hospice in Winchester will help us achieve this. Eloise will continue to be the general manager and will support Winchester Hospice in the same way that she supports Hampshire Hospital's other hospice in Andover, The Countess of Brecknock Hospice, overseeing the finances, performance, governance, and staff.
As you can see, the refurbishment of Burrell House into Winchester Hospice is an exciting time for all of the staff members at HHFT. For more information on how to donate please visit the following page, https://winchesterhospice.com/donate. No donation is too small!
We spoke to Steph who is a palliative medicine consultant. Steph works across the Winchester and Andover sites. She currently looks after patients in RHCH, The Countess of Brecknock hospice in Andover and the Andover community; this will also include the Winchester hospice once open.
Steph is also the Clinical Lead for End of Life Care for the Trust. She will be responsible for the inpatients in the hospice and the Winchester community. Steph is extremely proud that the end of life and palliative care service is rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission she believes this is rating is a must and strives to achieve it with her colleagues.
If you would like to be involved with becoming an ambassador for Winchester Hospice, please get in touch at Winchester.Hospice@hhft.nhs.uk, or call us on 01962 828353.
When asked about the most rewarding thing about her job, Steph says the feeling of pride ‘when the staff in the team gets recognised by colleagues or patients and relatives’.