The new role, which is funded by the university, was created following discussions between the hospice and the university on how they could develop closer educational links.
Dee will split her time between her clinical role at the hospice and her new role at the university, where she will work with the faculty’s pre-registration nursing team to develop and deliver palliative care modules.
Dee said that she felt “very honoured, shocked and excited” to be appointed to the new role.
“It’s a great opportunity for me, for the hospice and the university to look at roles in a different way,” she added.
Explaining how her duel role will work, Dee said: “The real nugget of these roles is that they are embedded in practice, which I think offers real clinical credibility with students.
“I see it as marrying the theory with reality in the workplace and giving students real insight into the challenges and opportunities this will give them. I hope to be able to inform and inspire, but also to learn myself in so many ways.”
At Southampton University all student nurses must complete a module in palliative and end of life care.
“We think this is really important as nurses will meet people with palliative and end of life care needs wherever they work when they are qualified,” explained Dr Sue Duke, associate professor and faculty curriculum lead for cancer and palliative care at the university.
“Providing this education has its challenges and requires lecturers who have the skills not only to bring practice alive but to do this in way that is sensitive to the fact that many students find this a tough topic and some will have had recent experiences of death and bereavement.”
Sue added that the cancer and palliative care teaching team were really excited to welcome Dee to the team:
“Dee’s expertise in palliative care will help us to ensure that student nurses complete their training with the knowledge and skills needed to provide sensitive and compassionate care to people at the end of life.
“We are counting ourselves very lucky to work with Dee in these ways and are delighted to develop our relationship with Earl Mountbatten Hospice through this education relationship.”
Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, added: “It is increasingly important for hospices to have strong academic links. We are fortunate that the University of Southampton is a stone’s throw across the water and has a well established and successful palliative care department. We look forward to developing both educational and research projects in the future.”