Climbing on dustbins and appearing on the back of the number 56 bus from Lincoln to Skegness is all in a day’s work for Sue. She takes going above and beyond for the Hospice to great lengths!
Sue has always been drawn to end-of-life care and when a community nursing role came up at the Hospice, she didn’t hesitate to apply. She got the job, and her hospital nursing experience stood her in good stead as a Hospice at Home Community Nurse. But it’s her heartfelt dedication to making the final weeks, days and moments matter for patients and their families that makes her care truly special. And going the extra mile comes naturally to her.
When a young patient wasn’t at home for Sue’s planned visit, Sue was slightly concerned. Usually, the front door was left unlocked for her, but not on that day. Sue knocked. She shouted through the letter box. Tapped on the window. Getting increasingly worried the lady had fallen or worse, Sue hot-footed it down the alleyway to the back of the terraced house. With the back gate locked, her only option was to climb on top of a dustbin and scramble over the fence to the back door – which was also locked! Several unreturned phone calls later, concerned Sue headed back to the office to check whether the patient had been readmitted to the Inpatient Unit. But before she had a chance, her phone rang. “Sorry Sue, but I felt so well today and the sun is shining, so I’m sat outside a café with my children and a hot chocolate!”. Needless to say, Sue was overjoyed and very relieved. If only the call was a few minutes earlier!
These days Sue’s working life is slightly less adventurous as Ward Manager, yet it’s a world away from her past ward experiences. Sue will often say that on those wards, if you didn’t quite get it right first time, you would often have a chance to do it again. But you only have one chance with end-of-life care, and it’s got to be as good as it can be.
That sentiment drives Sue every day. Whether she’s nursing a patient, supporting pharmacy students on the unit, or collaborating with peers to drive best practice within wider end-of-life care.
We’re sure helping the Hospice be the best it can be for patients, families and carers was in the back of her mind when she agreed to be the face of St Barnabas in a campaign that saw her portrait on the back of a bus! It was a picture Sue tired of seeing very quickly on her travels, but we think it embodied everything St Barnabas stands for because Sue lives and breathes the very best end-of-life care.
In her own words…
“It’s an absolute privilege to work with patients at the end of life and support their families within the Hospice. It’s something I wouldn’t want to change. It’s where I want to be.”
To see all 40 Faces and their stories, please visit: https://stbarnabashospice.co.uk/40faces
ehospice UK edition, Editors Note:
This is the thirteenth in a series of 40 articles celebrating the founders, staff members, volunteers and supporters who have helped contribute to the vital care St Barnabas Hospice, Lincoln, provides to those living with a life-limiting or terminal illness and their families.
These stories will find parallels across all other hospices around the UK. If you wish to share your news/stories/blogs then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for the weekly ehospice newsletter which brings together stories from around the world please go to: https://ehospice.com/register/
St Barnabas Hospice is a local independent charity, and every year they support more than 10,500 people across Lincolnshire.
They deliver free, high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care and support to people living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, their family and carers.
St Barnabas offers the patient and their family hospice care and support via: specialist inpatient care, care at home, day therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, complementary therapy, welfare advice and bereavement support.
All the services are free. St Barnabas needs to raise over £6m a year to provide its support and care. Over 900 volunteers play a crucial role in the charity’s success.