The Hospiscare at Home service brings the expertise of the hospice into the home. Hospiscare at Home Staff Nurse Liz Livingstone explains what it’s like to be part of the service.
“It’s marvellous working as part of the Hospiscare at Home team, a real joy to come to work. I have worked as a nurse for around 38 years, specialising in palliative care. I feel it’s so important to support people to have a good death and give them the choice to die at home.
“A typical day for me doesn’t exist. It’s always very varied. I see around five or six patients a day, sometimes less. But when a patient is dying I may pop in to see them and their family three or four times a day. We work to fit in with what the patients and families want.
“Some of the younger patients have partners who want to be very active in caring for them. Other families may be less hands on. So we do whatever suits the family and patient best, treating each case individually.
“What I love about this job is the connections you make. I think when patients are in hospital they sometimes feel they have to be on their best behaviour. The clinical environment doesn’t allow them to be themselves and their family can’t be with them all the time.
“So you really get to know people as a whole in the home setting, and that allows you to give holistic care. Wanting to give all-encompassing support is the reason many of us become nurses in the first place and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“We do everything we can to help someone have a good death. I have witnessed some beautiful deaths where patients have died in the arms of their loved ones, at home in their own bed, and it’s just a huge privilege to be part of that.”