Ap­peal launched to help fund two new health­care as­sis­tants

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - Julie Gam­ble-Kempe

THIS month, we have launched an ap­peal to fund two new Health­care As­sis­tant (HCA) posts to help en­sure that all pa­tients with can­cer or other life-lim­it­ing ill­ness cared for by the char­ity are able to ben­e­fit from the ex­tra care of­fered by HCAs.

Sue Varvel, direc­tor of nurs­ing and clin­i­cal ser­vices at Rennie Grove, ex­plains: “We have been able to in­tro­duce health­care as­sis­tants to most of our teams so we have seen the huge dif­fer­ence that they make both to pa­tients and fam­i­lies and to our spe­cial­ist Iain Rennie Hospice at Home nurses.

“Pa­tients and fam­i­lies greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra time that HCAs can spend with them and this of­ten frees up more time for our nurses to spend on an in­creas­ing num­ber of pa­tients with more com­plex con­di­tions.

“The lo­cal Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Groups have recog­nised the value of adding HCAs by pro­vid­ing fund­ing for some of these posts, but un­for­tu­nately we do still need more money to be able to in­tro­duce HCAs into all of our teams.”

Katie Good is a Health­care As­sis­tant work­ing in our South Bucks team.

She ex­plains the value of her role: “As a health­care as­sis­tant, I have been priv­i­leged to help pa­tients in many dif­fer­ent ways. Some pa­tients are first re­ferred to us when they are in hos­pi­tal and of­ten, even though doc­tors have agreed that they can go home, this can’t hap­pen be­cause there is a de­lay in pro­vid­ing a care pack­age.

“health­care as­sis­tants can help get these pa­tients home sooner by pro­vid­ing this per­sonal care un­til the proper care pack­age is ar­ranged with lo­cal NHS ser­vices. I also make reg­u­lar sup­port vis­its to pa­tients whose con­di­tions are more sta­ble, tak­ing time to talk to them about how they’re feel­ing. This can be vi­tal in help­ing spot early signs of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in their con­di­tion which I can then dis­cuss with nurses. We aim to keep symp­toms un­der con­trol to avoid un­nec­es­sary hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions which are dis­tress­ing for pa­tients and fam­i­lies.

“I also of­fer respite sits which are in­valu­able to car­ers who are not will­ing or able to leave pa­tients on their own to go shop­ping, or to the bank or to have their hair done.”

Eileen Murphy, Hospice at Home nurse tells us: “Hav­ing Katie on the team is a huge help. By see­ing the more sta­ble pa­tients and re­port­ing back with any con­cerns, she helps en­sure that pa­tients re­ceive ex­cel­lent care while giv­ing us valu­able ex­tra time to spend with more crit­i­cal pa­tients.”

To find out more about our lat­est ap­peal and to do­nate to help us fund more Health­care As­sis­tants, please go to www. ren­niegrove.org/hcas.

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