Friday, 13 May 2016

"Life as a nurse at Peace Hospice Care means no two days are the same" says Heidi Blagden, Senior Staff Nurse at the charity's Inpatient Unit.

"My day always varies because everything we do centres around making sure every individual patient has the best quality of life possible.

"If a person is at the Hospice for symptom control and emotional support, we structure their days to improve their wellbeing and physical health as much as we can. If someone is with us for end-of-life care, we focus on addressing their and their families' wishes.

"We try to be as flexible as possible - my moto is 'Why not?!' If a patient wants ice cream for breakfast, ...why not? If they want to see their pet ... why not? If they just want someone to talk to ... why not?

"Recently, a patient was too ill to go and see his beloved horse so we organised for the horse to be brought into the Hospice car park. On another occasion I was speaking to a patient and his fiancé who wanted to get married, but unfortunately he was too ill to leave the Hospice. So all the staff here got involved and organised everything for them - we ended up hosting their wedding in our Starlight Centre!

"That wedding day is probably my most memorable one so far at Peace Hospice Care for me. When they said "Till death do us part" they really meant it.

"For me it's a privilege to be with someone in their last days and to give them the best quality of life possible. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing a patient go back home because we were able to improve their wellbeing enough to get them back where they want to be.

"I couldn't imagine working anywhere else. Being at Peace Hospice Care reminds me, every day, what life is about. I always feel supported and the management team are always approachable; we all work together. You don't just take on a job when you work here, you get a family.

"If I had a loved that had a life-limiting illness, I'd want them to be cared for by Peace Hospice Care. But that is only possibly with the support of the public. We are a charity and that means my wages come from the generosity of our supporters.

"Our care is open to the whole community, but it's only because of the community that we can continue giving the specialist care that we do."

Peace Hospice Care employs nearly 40 nurses who work at their Inpatient Unit, in the Hospice at Home team and Starlight (wellbeing and rehabilitation) Centre. Only 23% of the charity's funding is from the NHS.

Please donate to the Every Day Matters Appeal and help the charity be here when local families need them the most.