2nd April 2021

A day in the life of the living well team

kathy o'connell

A day in the Life of the Living Well Team

by Kathy O’Connell, Senior Healthcare Assistant 

Kathy O’Connell

I have worked at St Richard’s Hospice for nine years, with the last five years as part of its Living Well Team.

I am a Senior Healthcare Assistant. This is a supportive role for patients, and sees me identify their needs and sign-post them to various hospice services.

As well as helping them access the care they need, I am also a voice at the end of a phone or video call for people who may be isolated.

The roles of all Living Well Team members are as interesting as they are varied, covering every emotion and every challenge.

This is a glimpse into one of my days working from home, as part of this incredible team.

8am: It’s time to transform for our dining deck into an office once again. The decorated eggs and daffodils are set aside and replaced with a laptop. I check my emails, follow up any outstanding work, and prepare for the multidisciplinary team (MDT) Zoom meeting at 9am.

9am: The MDT meeting reviews the patients due to attend today’s virtual Therapeutic Day Programme. It’s also a chance to allocate new assessments and support phone calls, and to discuss extra support needed for patients from yesterday’s joint supportive clinic.

MDT has input from the a doctor, the nursing team, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, creative and complementary therapists and the social work team.

10.15am: I make the first secure video call of the day to a patient who has been referred to the Living Well Team. I introduce myself and the Living Well services. We discuss their needs and talk about what support they would like to access from the hospice. After the call, I complete an assessment, allocating the most appropriate support for my patient.

11.15am: I am co-facilitating the social drop in group today via Zoom. This is an excellent way for our patients who are isolated during these times to come together and enjoy some social interaction. It is also a good opportunity for them to ask questions about other services offered by St Richard’s.

12.30pm: I make a telephone call to a patient I assessed the week before who is struggling with fatigue. The Living Well course to help manage this begins next week, and the patient tells me they would like to join this. Once the call is finished, I arrange for her to join the Zoom course.

1.30pm: Time for a spot of lunch

2pm: Secure video call with a patient attending our Therapeutic Day programme. We discuss how their week has been, talk through any issues they might have, their symptoms, and updates. Our therapeutic day patients set goals, and this meeting is a chance to review these and alter them to their changing needs. Review meetings also allow me to refer the patient to other hospice services, where needed.

3.30pm: A further telephone call for a therapeutic day review. This requires liaison with our doctor to assist completing a ReSPECT form.

4pm: All records updated, including our handover sheet.

4.30pm: It’s time for the Nursing Team meeting which happens monthly via Zoom. This is an opportunity for general hospice updates, but it’s also a time to discuss the team’s plans for our constantly evolving services. I very much enjoy my role and being a part of this great team.

My role has developed so much since I joined the team and will, I am sure, continue to do so as we move forwards.

Find out more about the Living Well Team and its services by following this link to our webpage.