Elaine Pugh has been a health and social care professional for thirty years, and Outpatient Services Manager at Wirral Hospice St John’s for the last two. She is passionate about supporting patients, their families, and also the wider circle of carers who surround them.
“People can live well with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. We support patients with a whole range of services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social care, creative therapies, spiritual support and complementary therapies. Treating each person on an individual level is so important to ensuring that they get care and support that is tailored specifically to their needs.”
To this end, Elaine has researched the views of patients through focus groups to identify how best the Hospice can enrich its care. She is fired with enthusiasm as she sees the organisation increasingly reaching out in its quest to create a ‘Hospice without walls’.
“This new building at the Hospice is going to be a fantastic resource. It will give us the ability to help all those patients affected by these serious conditions and also support the professionals who care for them.
We can now welcome in other professionals who would normally be based elsewhere, sharing our skills with them and theirs with us. For example, instead of just seeing a specific patient, an expert such as a dietician will be able to use our facilities and help to join-up the care.
Sharing knowledge with each other will give us all more insight into how patients can be helped. Of course, this principle can be replicated over so many areas.
It is such a progressive and exciting opportunity: we can share the space and plan treatment together to create truly wraparound care.
We will have room to welcome patients and their families, and the ability to help them access any information and support they might need. There will be an Information Point; staffed in the first instance by volunteers but also backed by professionals should the questions raised require it. We anticipate queries might range from ‘Where can we stay close-by?’ to life-changers like ‘Exactly what’s happening to Dad?’”
The new Day Therapy Unit is a vital part of the new facility. Elaine and Hospice colleagues have listened to patients and their families, and their input has guided its layout and colour scheme.
“Our users – patients, families and carers – share and receive support from one another, and this is incredibly valuable. They enjoy being together, and get confidence from one another.
We are constantly striving to develop more services for our patients and their loved ones. The new building will make it so much easier for us to keep developing.
We are as ever grateful to the Wirral community for its support of our Hospice, thank you to everyone who is helping to make this new build a reality through our Families Matter Appeal.”
Author: Liz Rice, Wirral Hospice volunteer
Public and Professional ‘open days’ will be advertised in the coming weeks.