Garden House Hospice redeploys staff members to frontline amid coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 15:55 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 19:20 07 April 2020

Dawn Tidmarsh, physiotherapist, going out on her first community shift. Picture: GHHC

Dawn Tidmarsh, physiotherapist, going out on her first community shift. Picture: GHHC

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Garden House Hospice Care has redeployed staff members to frontline services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah Bradfield, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Manager, wirh a Hospice at Home nurse. Picture: GHHCSarah Bradfield, Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Manager, wirh a Hospice at Home nurse. Picture: GHHC

Redeployed staff include delivery workers, trading staff, the fundraising team and the day services team, who have received clinical training to support nurses and healthcare assistants caring for end of life patients in the community and on the Inpatient Unit.

Sarah Bradfield, rehabilitation and wellbeing manager at Garden House’s Hawthorne Centre, has explained how coronavirus has impacted the charity’s day services, and how her team are adapting to their new roles.

“In my almost three years of working at Garden House Hospice Care, I have never gone home and cried – until last week,” Sarah said.

“We recently made the difficult decision to close our Hawthorne Centre in order to prioritise the safety of our patients and their families and carers. I work with a brilliant team of nurses, physiotherapists, rehabilitation assistants and therapists, offering a service to people who have been diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.

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“My team has made over 150 telephone calls explaining to our patients why we have had to close. Of course, many of them had begun to self-isolate already, and all of them understood. Many said: ‘See you on the other side.’”

Sarah added: “It was a heart-wrenching few days, as we don’t know when, or indeed if, we will see some of our patients again. I am so proud of my team who have risen to this challenge, no matter what their core skills are.

“We now have an opportunity to support patients who are in the final weeks of their life, and still make a difference.

“I also want to thank our lovely colleagues, who have been patient, reassuring and understanding, as we were required to quickly get to grips with our new roles.”

Despite receiving generous donations from the community, Garden House Hospice still urgently requires more PPE to protect its workers, and is appealing to local businesses and schools.

The Hospice is now supporting suspected and confirmed patients with coronavirus in the community and are increasing the bed capacity from eight to 10 beds in their Inpatient Unit, to support bed capacity locally.

The hospice continues to provide its telephone support service to day patients for non-urgent issues.


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