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Hospice key role appeal

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Healthcare assistants – who describe themselves as the “eyes and ears” of Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s hospice at home nursing service – are asking for help in recruiting another member to join their important team.

Lynne explains: ‘Employing healthcare assistants like me who are trained to do basic medical tests such as checking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and blood glucose levels frees up our specialist nurses to respond immediately to patients with serious and complex care needs and means the charity as a whole can meet rising demand and reach more patients.

‘Healthcare assistants have this amazing opportunity every day to make a difference to the lives of local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illness and although I say it myself, we are excellent listeners. This helps us to strike up an immediate rapport with patients and their families so we can gain a genuine insight into how they are feeling day to day. By visiting regularly, providing personal care and a listening ear, we are in a unique position to offer support.

‘I am able to use my experience and skills in caring to support patients in their choice to remain at home, and I am constantly humbled by patients’ willingness to welcome me into their home at what must be such a difficult time for them and their family.’

Sue Varvel, Director of Nursing and Clinical Services at Rennie Grove Hospice Care, said: ‘Every area of healthcare is suffering from the national shortage of nurses. Employing healthcare assistants is a good investment for the short-term future of our service and also for its long-term survival. I think healthcare assistants will become even more pivotal to our care and some will choose to train as nurses; others will become proficient in undertaking initial assessments, meaning that more patients can have access to our 24/7 nursing service as soon as they need it.’

Rennie Grove is asking local people to help fund an additional healthcare assistant to support its nursing team. A £25 donation would fund a two-hour respite visit from a healthcare assistant.  A donation of £51.80 could cover the cost of five days’ travel – keeping more families at home together for longer. A donation of £94.14 would pay for an overnight shift for an assistant. A donation of any size will be much appreciated.

‘If we can raise £24,330 then we will be able to fund another healthcare assistant who could make hundreds of visits to patients and families every year. Imagine the difference that could make,’ added Sue.


February 1, 2018