Retiring doctor to complete final ward rounds at hospice
DR Trevor Rimmer will be sad to complete his ward round at East Cheshire Hospice for the last time at the end of this month after 25 years at the forefront of local palliative care services.
Retirement just two weeks after he reaches 60 will be an opportunity to reflect on his proud role in the development of end-of-life care in eastern Cheshire.
Dr Rimmer works as both medical director at the hospice and as Macmillan consultant in palliative medicine for East Cheshire Trust, based at Macclesfield General Hospital, as part of the Macmillan palliative care specialist team.
He said: “I’ve seen a big expansion in palliative care services over my 16 years in East Cheshire, and my two roles complement each other.
“The hospice does not duplicate what is provided in an NHS hospital but has a different focus.
“My shared posts have enabled me to support patients who might need medical or surgical interventions and symptom control in the hospital, and liaise with the hospice if and when the focus of care needs to change.
“The hospice has doubled in size since I arrived, with a marked improvement in accommodation and services for in-patients, and the development of the Sunflower Centre, providing day unit and therapy facilities for patients living in the community.
“The hospice team and philosophy have developed and moved a long way in my time here.
“I remain awestruck by the financial support the hospice receives from the community.
“Without that support it wouldn’t be here – the hospice reflects the generosity of spirit of the people of East Cheshire.
“I’m heartened by the army of volunteers who bring heart to the clinical and supportive care provided by the professionals.”
Dr Rimmer, who lives in Macclesfield, will be succeeded as medical director by the experienced Dr Debbie Alexander, who has worked in the hospice for more than a decade, and he knows the hospice will have a smooth transition.
In East Cheshire Trust, Dr Leslie Allsopp and Dr Kathryn Gaunt succeed him, sharing the consultancy duties, also working closely with the team of seven part-time doctors at East Cheshire Hospice.
Dr Rimmer, who has worked in the medical profession for 37 years, said: “I call this an upgrade. It’s a step forward and means the hospice and East Cheshire specialist palliative care services can progress to a new level.
“New people bring new ideas and I’ll leave behind a well-run hospice and highly professional medical team.
“On a personal basis I will miss everyone but it gives me immense satisfaction to know my work is being passed into excellent hands.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with superb palliative care nurses in the hospice and Macmillan teams, who have made palliative care an established speciality, and, of course, working alongside and sharing care with the local primary care and hospital clinicians.” Dr Rimmer, who met Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement early in his career, is looking forward to a well-earned rest.
He intends to visit family in Australia, delve into his family history and pursue interests in photography and wildlife.
●● Dr Trevor Rimmer is leaving East Cheshire Hospice