Kirsty Hill is Team Leader at the Isabel Hospice In-Patient Unit and has worked for the Hospice since 2015.
Here she talks about how excited she and the other nurses, doctors and volunteers are to be ‘going home’ to the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit in Howlands, Welwyn Garden City, after spending 10 months in their ‘holiday home’ at the Hatfield Nursing Home, Tamblin Way.
The short termmove came about when the decommissioned QEII hospital was demolished to make way for new houses, and it was no longer a conducive environment to provide specialist end-of-life care for the Hospice’s patients.
What did you do before you joined Isabel Hospice?
“I came to Isabel Hospice from working in a nursing home, where I was deputy manager. Whilst I was there I started and led their palliative care unit, and that is where my passion for palliative care started. Before that I worked in A&E and critical care which was very different but was very rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
“Working in partnership with patients to help control distressing symptoms such as nausea, pain and anxiety, which means they feel better in themselves and can live their lives more fully, in the time they have. People think a Hospice is somewhere people go to die, but it is so much more than that. In fact, 30% of our patients actually go home from our Unit.
Patients come to us when they are really struggling at home. We are able to help control their symptoms, which may be nausea, pain or even anxiety based problems get them stable, and then they can go home. Setting goals is very important too. That goal may be going home for a party, having a girly sleepover at the hospice with friends and prosecco, going to their favourite pub for the last time or staying alive for a particular event, often a wedding or the birth of a grandchild. Giving people the time to wrap up their affairs makes a big difference to them psychologically too. We care for mind, body and spirit.”
What do you do to let your hair down?
“Well, I’m training for the marathon… and I love to have fun with friends and family. I love going out, going to gigs, going to parties! “
Isabel Hospice would like to welcome the local community to the Isabel Hospice Open House, on Saturday 14th October at the Howlands site, between 3pm and 5pm where there will be activities, music and a chance to look around the building before the patients are admitted later in the week. Please car share, as parking is limited.