In January this year I took over the role of interim CEO at Mary Stevens Hospice. I have been a part of the hospice team for 15 years during which time I have worked as a Staff Nurse, studied for a degree in Palliative Care, worked alongside the medical team as an Independent Nurse Prescriber and for the last 5 years held the post of Registered Manager and Matron. I am passionate about the standard of care and support that we are able to provide to people and wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about some of the things we are doing and what you can expect to see from your hospice in the coming months.
Mary Stevens Hospice has been part of your local community for 29 years providing palliative care to patients and their families. Our mission is to provide care and support to everyone across the Dudley borough that needs us. 12 months ago, with your help, we opened our fantastic new Day Services unit which has allowed us to reach out to so many more people in the community. We have recently launched some new initiatives that we are excited to share with you. Did you know that we now offer a monthly DementiaGet Together where people can:
- Meet other people living with and affected by dementia
- Share concerns and experiences
- Get information and support from professionals
- Have a pleasant morning with tea, coffee, cake and music
Over 165 of our staff and volunteers have now been trained in dementia awareness by our Dementia champions. This is part of a bigger project being run one of our nurses to make the hospice accessible for people living with dementia.
This Spring we will also be launching a Breathe Easy Group in Day Services. A six-week programme of weekly structured sessions will address managing some of the symptoms that may be related to living with breathing conditions.
As a hospice we also run a drop-in group every 4 weeks for people living with Motor Neurone Disease and an evening support group for people living with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy run by carers takes place on the 1stTuesday of the month.
As a hospice we are committed to supporting families as well as patients. So, in addition we also run a Carers group, providing support and advice to those people who find themselves providing essential care for their loved ones. The carers group runs on the third Wednesday of the month and the hospice team can support looking after patients.
(For further information about any of these services please contact the Day service team on 01384 445425).
Our hospice values are Care, Compassion and Kindness and this underpins everything we do. Each member of the hospice team goes above and beyond every day to make sure that the care we give to our patients and their loved ones is the best it can be.
Our Family Support team now have purpose built dedicated spaces within the hospice allowing us to extend our care to children and young people supporting them through a variety of ways. Staff work with families to help them create their own unique memories through special and fun activities such as hand printing on canvas, bags and pillowcases to designing spiritual beads and making treasure boxes.
Hospice care extends beyond the walls of the building and we areexcited to be working in collaboration with our partners across the wider Dudley Borough this year to offer support for bereaved people via community hubs. Our Stourbridge Bereavement Hub offers a supportive environment for local people experiencing loss and grief, signposting and access to information and opportunities to manage their health and wellbeing as well as the potential to make new friends.
It is important for us as your hospice to understand what’s important to both individuals and communities, so we have been engaging with local groups to identify the most vulnerable populations. We want to ensure that the care we deliver is inclusive and accessible to all.
Back inside the hospice the Inpatient Unit which has the capacity to care for 10 patients at any one time continues to be busy, providing invaluable support to those people that need it. We are currently working closely with the local acute trust to expand the medical team at the hospice which will enable us to reach more patients and offer even more services as we move forward. The teams that work within the hospice are passionate about making a difference and often say what a privilege it is as part of their role to support patients, relatives and carers.
All areas of the hospice are supported by a huge team of volunteers who give their time freely to support the work we do. It was a huge testament to the volunteers that they were presented with The Queens Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their outstanding work.
I am very proud to be leading the hospice forward alongside a great team who have a shared vision of providing the best palliative care possible to patients and their families within our communities and look forward to keeping you updated on our work throughout the year.
With thanks to all who work for us, volunteer with us and support us.
Matron & Interim CEO