St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. Its great reputation for providing high quality, compassionate care is due to the dedication, skills and experience of all those work for the charity, both paid and unpaid.
The hospice has seen sustained growth over recent years, and now supports over 2,500 patients and family members each year. To provide this service, the number of paid staff has increased from 70 in 2006 to just over 200 today.
People choose to work for St Richard’s for a number of reasons, but predominantly because they believe in the hospice’s ethos of caring for life. Members of staff say that they feel privileged to work for St Richard’s. They find their work rewarding and are motivated by being able to make a difference to patients and their loved ones. A member of the nursing team said; “I am stretched here, there is always something more I want to achieve for the benefit of patients and the organisation.”
The Governors and Senior Management team listen to staff views and are committed to making sure that St Richard’s is a great place to work. A staff forum works with the management team to develop hospice services for the future and has contributed to the development of new policies. Members of the group are free to suggest ideas that encourage a positive and supportive working environment to promote the health and well-being of staff.
As a charity, St Richard’s Hospice takes a balanced approach to pay and benefits, balancing the need to retain high quality staff with managing scarce charitable resources.
Professional development of all those who work at the hospice is key to providing excellent services, both for those directly involved in patient care and family support as well as those who work ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure the smooth running of the hospice. Holistic patient care is provided by a diverse team of health care professionals, including doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, counsellors and complementary therapists. Other teams ensure that the hospice runs like clockwork and raise the funds required to ensure that support is available to those that need it, including facilities and housekeeping, shop and warehouse staff, and fundraising teams.
The hospice’s in-house education department offers excellent specialist training opportunities and is affiliated to the University of Worcester. This ensures that health care professionals are kept up to date with best practice in palliative care, and continue to offer the best possible care for patients with life threatening illnesses.