Saint Francis Hospice: Close working by teams means we can still be there for patients and their families

Therapies manager Kathryn Owens. Picture: Saint Francis Hospice

Therapies manager Kathryn Owens. Picture: Saint Francis Hospice - Credit: Archant

In our weekly column from Saint Francis Hospice, therapy manager Kathryn Owens says technology has helped staff keep in touch with each other and the patients

As with all areas of care during this challenging time, we have had to look at alternative ways to support patients within Saint Francis Hospice and also those under our care in the community. This raises its own challenges.

As a manager, my days have become remote working and attendance at meetings using technology, not my strong point as a clinical team member. However these meetings have been invaluable to keep in touch, keep updated, share information and ensure the service provision continues.

Looking at patient care, we cannot do all our role remotely but some aspects we can. Before this pandemic situation arrived we were running groups for community patients to attend, doing assessments and visits to the home and assessing and working with patients on the ward. Not forgetting communicating with the family and carers. Some of this has been possible to do from a distance.

We are regularly phoning our group attendees and checking that all is going OK for them as many of them are isolating at home. If we have concerns we would forward a referral onto the relevant team either internally or external to help ensure they get the support that they need.

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We have supplied complementary therapy blends and information sheets for self-care, we have provided basic exercise videos by our physiotherapy team and self-care reflexology sheets from our palliative care complementary therapists. We also have available mindfulness information and activity packs with puzzles and colouring activities for those missing the crafting activities of our creative therapy groups.

We have continued our input onto the inpatient services but minimising the amount of contact to avoid unnecessary interaction and risk of cross infection.

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This has been possible by very close working between all the teams providing relevant and necessary information to enable the assessments and correct provision of care and equipment to continue.

Of course there is the need for direct patient contact and when this is necessary the team will follow all the correct guidance and give the high standard of care and attention needed and that is always provided by the Therapies Team.

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