A senior nurse in Swindon, who has played a leading role in shaping hospice at home services nationally says the knowledge she gained has benefitted patients cared for by Prospect Hospice.
After nine years, Jane Green, matron at Prospect Hospice, recently stepped down as secretary and trustee of the National Association for Hospice at Home (NAHH), a charity which supports hospices and other organisations that provide end-of-life care in patients’ homes.
Members of the NAHH work together to develop and share best practice in order to provide the highest possible standard of care to enhance the quality of life of patients, while supporting carers and families.
In this voluntary role Jane was involved in producing national standards, organising workshops and national conferences and offering networking and support to individual organisations.
Back in 2008 Prospect Hospice began providing care to patients in their homes after it identified there was a need for it and following a successful campaign to raise funding. This was in addition to the services provided in the hospice in Wroughton, including the inpatient unit and therapy.
Called Prospect@Home, the service provides personal care to patients, respite care to their loved ones and practical and emotional support to patients and their families. This includes night services where staff will support patients all night so their carers can have a good night’s sleep to enable them to function better in their caring support role the next day.
The team of healthcare assistants and registered nurses have a range of skills to support patients at the end of their lives. Volunteers are also involved by providing companionship to patients.
Jane joined the NAHH in 2012 and said her time with the association had been beneficial for her professional development, Prospect Hospice and the hospice at home sector nationally.
She said: “My role with the association was a fantastic networking opportunity for me to learn and develop my hospice at home skills and it helped guide me in developing our Prospect@Home service to benefit our patients and families. It also enhanced my leadership skills and improved my collaborative working skills.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic being able to share knowledge with other organisations was very helpful, because we had to introduce new protocols and deploy more staff to work in the community to support patients needing palliative care support.
“This was actually a fantastic opportunity for some of our nurses and healthcare assistants to take their skills into the community and the team responded brilliantly to this. We were able to provide care with our full multi-disciplinary team including our doctors as needed, to provide a whole range of support for people at home.”
In 2020 the number of patients supported by Prospect Hospice who died at home increased by 41% on the previous year. The hospice is anticipating the demand for providing care in patients’ homes will continue after the pandemic.
The hospice is rated as outstanding by the health and social care regulator, The Care Quality Commission, which said patients felt they were truly cared for by staff.
Jane, who has worked for Prospect Hospice since 1997, said: “Our ethos is to put patients and their loved ones at the heart of all our services and we ask them ‘what matters to you?’ and this always remains a focus of our care. We support them and provide care that is tailored to their needs, all of which is free of charge and funded by generous donations by the community.”
Jane began her career with Prospect Hospice as a nurse on the inpatient unit, a role she held for 11 years. She then joined the Prospect@Home team as a nurse and becoming team leader in 2010. Two years ago she became the hospice’s first matron of community services, a role where she leads Prospect@Home, clinical nurse specialists, clinical administration and the single point of contact team.
Carolyn Bell, director of patient services at Prospect Hospice, said: “Jane has made a fantastic contribution to hospice care at home, both for our community in Swindon and north east Wiltshire and at a national level.
“She dedicated a lot of time and energy to her national role and made a significant impact with that team. Additionally, she has brought great knowledge gained through this role to lead the development of our own services and I want to thank Jane for her significant contribution to these services.
“It’s great to have Jane leading these teams and proactively supporting innovation in the delivery of our care. Last year we developed a new process of training carers to be able to administer sub-cutaneous injections (just under the skin) to their family member or loved one to reduce the time previously taken for a community or Prospect nurse to visit the home to do this – so reducing delays in giving medications.
“The Prospect@Home team leader led this initiative working with our medical director with Jane’s oversight and I am delighted that this work was presented at the Hospice UK national conference last week.”
Prospect Hospice will continue to share expertise with other organisations as Debbie Robson, Prospect@Home’s team leader, has taken over from Jane on the NAHH as a trustee.