Jill Littlewood joined Wirral Hospice St John’s as our Inpatient Services Manager in January 2014. Prior to that, she worked for 22 years in the Chester community as a district nurse. Her special interest has always been palliative care.
Palliative care, which is the care of people suffering from an illness that cannot be cured, is an area undergoing huge change. Wirral Hospice is at the forefront of current thinking; patients are helped to manage their conditions so that they are comfortable and have the best quality of life possible.
Patients referred to its Inpatient Ward might only stay a few days whilst their condition stabilises and then they return to the comfort of their own home, with support being given to them and their carers through Hospice at Home care.
“From the moment people come into the Hospice as inpatients, we are planning for their discharge and how they can be helped and supported at home. It is a much more positive view than it used to be. Patients may be admitted in crisis, but then, with the benefit of the highly skilled and specialised care and support we offer, they will often stabilise and be able to return to their own home, which is of course where most people yearn to be.”
Jill considers the construction of the new Hospice building as crucial to the development of this wraparound care.
“This building is so important. It will enable all the health and social care professionals to work together much more closely and provide a seamless service because they’ll be under one roof. And with the new patient information area, it will mean that we can much more easily signpost patients, carers and their families to the various services they need to access.
Everyone together means that relationships, both professional and personal, can be forged. Together, we can make it as comfortable as possible for the patients and also enjoy being part of a team.
The new building will be a pleasant place in which to work, and the space it affords both staff and Hospice visitors, be they patients, their families or their carers, will make things much easier.”
In addition, Jill sees a growing need for Hospice at Home. “More and more people want to access care from the Hospice and are very attracted to the ‘Hospice without walls’ model, which is evolving into an essential expansion of our care into the Wirral community. If we can give patients quality care at home, it can be much less distressing and disruptive for all concerned.
The fundamental point is that we’re enhancing our skills to enrich end-of-life care. If this is the last thing you can do for someone, we need to make sure it’s the best. Without donations from our generous supporters, we wouldn’t be able to provide the breadth of care we do across Wirral.
Thank you to everyone who is able to support the current development of Wirral Hospice through our Families Matter Appeal, it will transform the way we provide care and support for our patients, their carers and families.”
Author: Liz Rice, Wirral Hospice volunteer
Public and Professional ‘open days’ will be advertised in the coming weeks.