Spotlight On: Jill Littlewood, Clinical Manager for the Inpatient Unit at #wirralhospice – #nurse #palliativecare #wirral #hospicehero

 Jill DrinksFor Jill, everything is about putting the patients of  Wirral Hospice St John’s at the heart of all that we do. “The care we give has been greatly enhanced by the development of the services we provide, both here and out in our Wirral communities. The various hospice teams that support our patients and their families, get together regularly to agree the best ways in which we can help our patients live as full a life as possible.”

Jill joined the hospice in January 2014, and as Inpatients Ward Manager, she has a very busy job that she finds wholly fulfilling. This fact shines out of every sentence she utters. “I love the passionate commitment of the people I work with; the staff and the volunteers. We all care about the wellbeing of our patients and their families and, professionally, I couldn’t work with a better team. Sometimes, the work is challenging but we help each other, as we do with our patients, over a cup of tea and a chat. Sometimes I need to look after the team and sometimes they have to look after me.”

After serving 40 years in the health services, 37 as a nurse, Yorkshire born Jill has seen it all. So, how did she choose her profession? “At 16 I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My dad worked as a catering manager at Huddersfield Hospital and he got me a job in the kitchen! I’ve always loved cooking – people at the hospice will tell you about my baking – so I went to college to do a catering course. I really enjoyed it but as I was also working in the hospital I realised that I could do more to help if I became a nurse. I studied at Huddersfield Hospital and lived there, at the nurse’s home, until I gained my qualifications”.

Since then a full and varied career has seen Jill honing her expertise to the greater benefit of our patients. Having worked across the whole spectrum of nursing; in operating theatres, in ICUs, gynaecology and, with 22 years as a district nurse in Chester, Jill now pursues her ultimate vocation, palliative care.

“Wirral Hospice St John’s is the best place in the world for us to support people, often at the most challenging time for them and their families. Our job is to get people who may be experiencing uncontrolled pain or severe discomfort, as a result of their illnesses, back to their own home environment. Patients come to us at the Inpatient Ward when referred to the hospice by a hospital doctor, GP, district nurse or other healthcare professional.

People are generally admitted for, up to, an initial two week period, depending on the progress of their individual illnesses. Patient’s needs; physical, psychological and spiritual, are all catered for so that they can look forward to a return to familiar surroundings as soon as we can stabilise their condition.

Once people return home they can also receive our Hospice at Home service which, as well as providing a regular friendly and familiar face from the hospice, supports partners, family members (often 24-hr carers) and other carers to take a little time of their own to tend to their own wellbeing. So while Hospice at Home is with the patient, their carers might be shopping or be able to take a short break for a couple of hours.

In her ‘real’ life Jill is happily married to Steve (a retired Psychiatrist) whom she met in her home county of Yorkshire some 40 years ago. She has two children, Rachel and Anthony, who have both blessed her in the last couple of years with her precious granddaughters. Oldest granddaughter, Olivia, is two (she features a little later in this story), while, only 10 weeks ago, Anthony’s partner, Felicity, gave birth to Daisy, granddaughter number two.

Olivia has already written her place in hospice history by introducing ‘Granny’ Jill to internet viral sensation the Baby Shark challenge. Jill was so taken by the fun they were both having learning the moves to the song that she shared with colleagues, Infection Control nurse, Chantelle Hardman, Nicola D’Amelio, Clinical Governance Manager and Ward Sister, Clare Norman.

It was deemed a fun challenge to get more of the hospice team involved in. So Pied Piper, Jill, gathered up a growing number of willing participants and within an hour or so the music was played, the Baby Shark challenge was met and the video recording shared on the hospice’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. It has reached more than half a million people to date, featured on BBC Breakfast, Lorraine and other media channels, including The Daily Mirror’s Facebook page.

Another of Jill’s passions is for singing! A proud member of the Chester Operatic Society, she puts her ability to great use for the hospice in early December, helping our Carol Choir to hit the right notes to add to the ambience of our annual Light up a Life switch on service.

So, sing it from the rooftops, Jill’s legacy at the hospice is secure. After 39 years as a nurse, Jill tells us that she takes most pleasure in helping younger  – her words – staff and nurses to develop into their roles at Wirral Hospice St John’s. She sees her role as helping those people to “get skilled up, to do well and to get on”.

What is certain is that the future is bright for Wirral Hospice St John’s if those younger people listen to, and learn from, our Jill Littlewood.

Author: Billy Howard

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Launching our new #SummerMemories campaign

Hospice photoWe are very excited to announce our new Summer Memories campaign. You can sponsor one of our flowers.

These beautiful ornamental flowers will be displayed in bright yellow wheelbarrows around Wirral Hospice St John’s gardens until 31 August. After which, you will then be able to visit the Hospice in early September to pick up your flower, or we will post it out if that is what you have requested.Website Square

Each flower is locally sourced and is roughly 25cm high, 1cm thick and made out of a high quality resin that will not snap and should withstand all that the British summer has to throw at it. The flower will also come with a label attached on which you can write a dedication in memory of a loved one if you choose.

This campaign invites supporters to sponsor a flower and help us raise much-needed funds towards our special care and support of our patients and their families.

Local solicitors Kirwans, have very kindly sponsored this campaign, we are very grateful for their most generous support.

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Flower sponsorship starts at £5 per flower but you can donate more if you would like to.

You can sponsor a flower in the following ways:

Call the Fundraising Office on 0151 343 0778

Or, download our form here and return it to: Fundraising Office, Wirral Hospice St John’s, Mount Road, Higher Bebington, Wirral CH63 6JE.

For more information please call our Fundraising Office on 0151 343 0778.

300 Miles for Mum

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Collette and son, Luca

Over the last couple of years our supporters have taken part in the London to Paris challenge event where they cycled through beautiful English villages into stunning rural France and then Paris and in that time they have raised an unbelievable £8000 for Wirral Hospice St John’s.

This year, hospice supporter, Collette Morris will be joining our fourteen strong team. She will be embarking on the London to Paris cycle in memory of her Mum, Sue Oxton following the care she received from Wirral Hospice during her last months.

“I’m doing this ride in memory of my beautiful and brave Mum, Sue Oxton, for Wirral Hospice St John’s because of the exceptional job they do. Wirral Hospice St John’s cared for my Mum during her last months. To try and express what the Hospice did for us all during such a difficult time is really hard, but in the simplest terms they gave us peace of mind knowing Mum was getting the best care she possibly could, and in a place where she felt safe and could have her loved ones around her. However, most importantly, the Hospice provided my Mum with a fantastic level of care, and dignity till the end, and sometimes that is all we can hope for.”

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This year’s Wirral Hospice London to Paris Team

We are very excited for Collette to join our 2016 team and her support along with that of all our London to Paris riders will go a long way to helping us raise the money

we need to keep the hospice going during 2016 and into the future. Collette hopes to raise an amazing £2000 from her cycle, you can add your support via her Just Giving page.

Our team will start with a long journey through rural Kent winding through picturesque British countryside, along the North Downs Way before reaching the white cliffs of Dover. After reaching Calais by ferry, the ride continues past historical landmarks and famous battlefields and through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France before ending in Paris amongst the buzz of the Tour De France as the atmosphere builds up for the Grand Finale.

Cycling from London to Paris is one of the great cycle experiences in Europe covering over 300 miles in 4 days. With long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, the sight of the Eiffel Tower, the finishing point, evokes a real sense of achievement. It is an inspirational and challenging experience to treasure forever.

If you would like to take part in the 2016 London to Paris challenge there are still a few spaces left so whether you are a novice cyclist or an experienced rider, simply call Michelle on 0151 343 0778 or email michellet@wirralhospice.org for a full information pack and everything you need to take part in this fantastic event.

Author: Jacinta Warwick

Blog post on #HospiceCareWeek by our Chief Executive @Julie_Gorry

julie_gorry‘Connecting Care’ is the theme for this year’s Hospice Care Week, which starts today and is co-ordinated by Hospice UK. This is a topic that we hold very dear here at Wirral Hospice St John’s. One of our greatest aspirations is that people who are reaching the end stages of their lives should receive seamless, wraparound care, freeing them from worry and concern as they try to access different services.

We want people to understand that the work we carry out, although specifically for people who need palliative care, is an integral part of the services available to the community, and Hospice care reaches out to not just patients but families and carers too.

Our Hospice is a micro-community in its own right, and is unashamedly tapping into the current move to enjoy creating and tasting delicious things. We’re having our very own ‘Bake Off’ on Sat 10 Oct, when staff and volunteers are pitting their culinary skills against one another to produce a winning confection.

Please come along and try out the entries – make your own judgment too – between 10am and 2pm, and take the opportunity to see the Hospice.

John Bear, Wirral Hospice’s mascot, is rumoured to be coming, and you know what bears are like when there’s cake around!

Author: Julie Gorry, Chief Executive
Twitter: @Julie_Gorry
Or contact Julie via Jill Cheseldine, PA to Chief Executive 0151 334 2778 / jillc@wirralhospice.org

Wirral Hospice’s position on the Assisted Dying Bill

The Private Member’s Bill on Assisted Dying is having its second reading in Parliament on Friday 11 September 2015. We realise that Wirral residents, the community we serve, will wish to know the Hospice’s view on the Bill, and as such we have prepared the following formal statement.”
Julie Gorry – Chief Executive, Wirral Hospice St John’s

The purpose of this statement is to clarify Wirral Hospice St John’s position on ‘assisted dying’ for those anticipated to be in the last months of life.

The term ‘assisted dying’ is often used to describe circumstances in which a person is either helped to end their own life [physician-assisted suicide], or where there is a deliberate act to end a person’s life [euthanasia].

Assisted dying is a complex subject which raises challenging ethical questions for hospice care. Wirral Hospice recognises the broad range of views across our society and respects the right of everyone to take an individual position.

We acknowledge the deeply personal reasons that exist for individuals who wish to consider assisted dying.

The mission of Wirral Hospice is grounded in its philosophy to ensure the best possible quality of life for those living with serious illness. The Hospice specialises in the alleviation of pain and other symptoms, and in the provision of emotional, psychological and spiritual support. We work alongside the NHS to provide the highest possible standards of palliative care for all who need it and cannot advocate the deliberate hastening of death.

Blog posted on behalf of Wirral Hospice St John’s by Teresa Nightingale

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