In 2002, Sue received a letter from St Barnabas trustees inviting her for a chat about joining the board….
Nurse Sue always had an interest in end-of-life care and is a strong believer in the Hospice movement and had long been a supporter of St Barnabas when the invitation dropped through her door. But to say it was a surprise is an understatement!
Given her affinity with the Hospice’s values, Sue was keen to be a part of St Barnabas’ board of trustees. And as a leader of nursing within the county, she saw an opportunity for the organisations to learn from each other. Sue said yes, and shortly afterwards officially became a trustee.
She joined the board at a critical time for the Hospice. Health and social care in England was changing, and while St Barnabas had been successful in its mission so far, changes were needed if it was to continue meeting the needs of patients.
Sue and her fellow trustees were determined to drive improvements, making sure we could maintain our exceptional care standards. The work the board did during Sue’s tenure as a trustee set the foundations for futureproofing the way St Barnabas operates.
Sue and the rest of the board always held the view that St Barnabas could make a big difference to a lot more people.
Anticipating the needs of people at the end of life, determining how to meet those needs and the range of settings where that care could be provided underpinned their work to integrate the Hospice into the wider health and social care provision.
Their determination to engage GPs and other healthcare providers paid dividends and thanks to them, today we play a key role within the healthcare community.
Having the opportunity to influence an aspect of care close to her heart was a driver for Sue, and it went beyond boardroom decisions.
Sue would often be spotted out and about in the county, speaking to staff and volunteers and taking their views and experiences back to the board to make improvements and boost morale. She also volunteered for the role of honorary president of a bereavement group formed by a group of people who had been through loss at the Hospice and keen to keep the link with St Barnabas.
Sue has played a crucial role in helping integrate St Barnabas with our local healthcare community to take our care into a new era and for the Hospice to be there for more people than ever before.
In her own words…
“St Barnabas is very much about life and living well, and helping people make the best of that. It’s not unusual to have a lot of fun as well, I’ve spent some lovely times in the Inpatient Unit and with staff and volunteers in the community. The people at St Barnabas are very special.”
To see all 40 Faces and their stories, please visit: https://stbarnabashospice.co.uk/40faces