Appeal launched to help fund two new healthcare assistants
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.