The Saint Francis Hospice Blog
Welcome to the Saint Francis Hospice blog.
We'll be bringing you thoughts, views and insight from our staff, volunteers, supporters and patients. If you have an idea for a blog, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!
I was recently enjoying backpacking around the world — until the coronavirus pandemic cut my adventures short. Since returning from Asia to Romford, I've been voluntarily offering my digital marketing skills to Saint Francis Hospice.
COVID-19 has completely changed the way we shop.
As our clinicians and staff continue to selflessly work around the clock to provide care to our patients, we have been overwhelmed by the support from family and friends, neighbours and strangers, local businesses and organisations, schools, churches and supporters from all walks of life who see Saint Francis Hospice as an essential part of the local community.
I will never forget my last day in the office before we all went into lockdown.
When the coronavirus reached the UK in January, our Hospice faced an enormous challenge.
As Occupational Therapists at Saint Francis Hospice, our aim has always been to promote people’s independence, wellbeing and quality of life.
This is not the year I expected!
Although the inspiration for our name came from the Prayer of Saint Francis, that was many years ago. We've always cared for people of all faiths — including those with no faith.
I'm the Systems Programme Director at our Hospice.
In March, the world changed so much within such a short space of time. I was on paternity leave when the lockdown hit, and after only a few days back at work, I was furloughed.
I was given the opportunity of working in our reception area at the time of COVID 19.
After I qualified in medicine, I decided to train to become a consultant who specialises in palliative and end of life care.
Every member of staff at Saint Francis Hospice has had to adjust amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including myself and my team.
Before COVID19 my job mainly involved working with our fundraising team to provide our supporters with anything they need to help their fundraising.
As a British Army veteran and retired Police officer, I should really have known better than to ‘volunteer’ but it’s not in my nature to shy away from any situation and as I uttered the words “If there is anything you think I can do just ask,” my list of ‘any things’ grew more and varied as the pandemic took hold.
During this pandemic, bereavement support has become more than ever a vital service.
When the lockdown first came into place and we realised that we were no longer able to treat our lovely patients hands-on, I was disappointed.
Like all of the services at Saint Francis Hospice, Education changed to ensure everyone was safe whilst essential learning continued.
The girls that have been working throughout these extraordinary times have been amazing.
As with all areas of care during this challenging time, we have had to look at alternative ways to support patients within Saint Francis Hospice and also those under our care in the community.
Many of our patients express a clear wish that when they are less well, they want to remain in their own home; they want to be comfortable, they want their dignity maintained and they want their loved ones near.
As part of Dying Matters Week (11-17 May), Nasreen Al-Azami, whose husband Nabeel was under our care and whose family were supported by our bereavement service, reflects on the importance of talking about death and dying and the difference it made to her family.
Reaching out from kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms and even the garden, are our wonderful OrangeLine volunteers.
My work at Saint Francis Hospice is all about relationship - A therapeutic relationship between myself and one of our patients, a family member, both together or at times the whole family.
Generally, our patients get a lot of comfort and relief from the therapeutic touch that we offer within our complementary therapy appointments.
The team is in extreme demand due to the current crisis and therefore adapting different ways of working to ensure our team can continue supporting patients and families in the community.
Julie White is a Healthcare Assistant with our Hospice at Home team and here she shares the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the way she cares and supports patients and families.
Last summer, Rosie Cassidy had time to fill. She kindly decided to volunteer for Saint Francis Hospice before going back to university to continue her degree in psychology.
Teresa Mottram was food shopping when her 3-year-old daughter pointed to the fridge and exclaimed: "Daddy likes those yoghurts." Teresa replied to Lily-May: "But darling, Daddy died, so he doesn't need them anymore."