It’s been a year since the pandemic was first declared. And while it brought much of the UK to a standstill, the vital care that Ashgate Hospicecare provides to patients and their families has never stopped.
The hospice’s frontline workers have been working tirelessly since last March, continuing to provide quality end-of-life care and supporting NHS colleagues in the COVID-19 response to ease pressure on the healthcare system.
Few hospices in the country have supported as many end-of-life COVID patients as Ashgate, with one in three beds being used by patients who had tested positive with the virus during the second wave. Demand for their care had never been greater and staff from across the organisation were redeployed to their busy inpatient unit.
From the tireless housekeeping team who kept the hospice safe and clean to the community team providing essential care to patients at home – nobody could have anticipated how the pandemic would unfold.
But they’ve continued to work with dedication and professionalism through three national lockdowns; so that patients receive the very best care possible at the end of their life.
As we approach the one-year anniversary since the pandemic was first declared, we hear about the highs and lows that Ashgate Hospicecare’s frontline workers have experienced over the past 12 months.
To ensure that Ashgate Hospicecare can continue to respond to the pandemic in months to come, donate at: https://www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/donation/
Jane Woodhouse, Housekeeper Supervisor at Ashgate Hospicecare, has been working for the charity since 2006 and her team’s responsibility is to ensure the hospice is a clean and safe space for everyone. Something that has been even more important during the pandemic.
Our roles as housekeepers are more important now than they have ever been.
It’s up to us to make sure that the hospice is a clean and safe environment for everyone who works, visits or is cared for here.
With COVID-19 patients receiving care in our inpatient unit, it is our responsibility stop the spread of the virus and prevent people from being infected.
We have introduced many new processes to keep everyone safe. This includes intensive cleaning of patient rooms, routinely changing the curtains, wiping down door handles and surfaces – the list is very comprehensive, and we do most things three times a day. It’s a physical job, especially when wearing PPE, but essential to ensure that we can continue to provide our care and services.
One of the most challenging parts of the job is not being able to make that human connection with a patient, as the PPE can act as a barrier. It makes having conversations difficult, particularly as we are trying to be in and out of a room as soon as possible.
Every day is different throughout the pandemic; there can be days that seem particularly tough but everyone working on the ward is there for one another. We look out for each other and do our best to help one another out – that’s what keeps you going.
I’ve been working at Ashgate since 2006 and I’m so proud to be part of this team. Everything we do is for the benefit of the hospice.
My team and I go above and beyond; and it’s all to make sure patients receive the best end of life care that’s possible.