Bee's story: Supporting patients and their loved ones at our Inpatient Unit

This week is Hospice Care Week, a chance to celebrate the vital work hospices are doing up and down the country to ensure that everyone can benefit from the very best care when it is needed most. This year’s theme is ‘We are hospice care’, and over the week, we’ll be shining a light on some of the people who make St John’s what it is and sharing their stories. Next in the series is our Inpatient Unit Manager, Bee.

So, my name is Bee and I’m the Inpatient Unit Manager at St John’s Hospice. Our Inpatient Unit is here for patients with a wide range of conditions and illnesses, regardless of their gender, sexuality, background, or religion. Even though the unit is in St John’s Wood we accept patients from across North London. We’re here for whoever needs us.

I think that as a hospice there are always a lot of misconceptions about who we are and the kind of care we can provide, particularly here at the Inpatient Unit. I’d say the biggest of these misconceptions is that we solely provide end-of-life care, but that is not the case.

We also support patients who need a period of respite, particularly when their families need a break, we offer symptom control for those who are unable to manage their symptoms in the community, and we support patients who need rehab after palliative care treatments. A large proportion of our patients will be with us for a period of two weeks and then will return home with their loved ones with packages of care.

We do this as a multidisciplinary team, which involves our nurses, consultants, doctors, healthcare assistants, and the referrals and discharges team. We also have social workers, bereavement counsellors, and therapists, and are supported further by our team of incredible volunteers.

"If I could describe St John's Hospice in three words, it would be compassion, commitment, and community."

– Bee, Inpatient Unit Manager.

I think St John's is a unique place to be and to work as we have services that not many other hospices provide. Such as our Day Care Unit, our complementary therapies, our social and welfare support, and our bereavement service that enables us to support a patient’s family members from ages two and up.

I’d say the best part of my job is when we get little messages or cards and just unbelievably good feedback from patients or their family members. Just hearing that the team have done such a good job and that their loved one has moved on peacefully, or their loved one has had a good stay at the unit. I don't think anything else could be better than that.

We are incredibly grateful to have Bee as part of our St John's community and thank her for all that she does to support patients and their loved ones across North London. This Hospice Care Week, you can help us to continue being there for everyone who needs us across North London by donating here.

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