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Hospice healthcare assistant handed national award

22nd August 2019

An “innovative” healthcare assistant has been presented with a national award recognising her dedication to caring for hospice patients.

Kathy O’Connell, a Senior Healthcare Assistant at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, was nominated for a Cavell Star – and was presented with the medal in front of her colleagues in Day Services.

Run by the Cavell Trust charity, Cavell Star Awards are given to nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and nursing associates who demonstrate high standards of care to patients, their families and colleagues.

Mrs O’Connell, who has worked at the hospice for eight years, said: “It was a real surprise to receive the award – but also lovely and very humbling.

“I am so proud to be a part of the Day Services Team at St Richard’s and would like to thank all my amazing colleagues.

“I have been so well supported from day one and the Cavell Star on my lapel is testament to that.”

Within her diverse role, Mrs O’Connell works to support the nursing team and carries out a variety of duties, including: delivering training in the ‘M’ Technique® method of structured touch, leading adapted t’ai chi sessions for patients, assisting with other hospice courses and clinics and presenting to staff on the subject of rehabilitative palliative care.

Claire Gijselhart, Day Services Manager, said: “Kathy has helped to lead the rehabilitative agenda within Day Services.

“She is innovative and always thinks about what the patient wants and needs rather than adopting a paternalistic approach.

“Kathy is also always willing to expand her knowledge and skills and now runs adapted t’ai chi for patients.

“She actively supports patients to set goals so an active plan of care around their individual needs can be implemented.”

To find out more about the care offered at St Richard’s Hospice, visit www.strichards.org.uk/our-care