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

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