“Death is so ‘personal’ and such a difficult time in everyone’s life, but I consider it a real honour that my patients and families welcome and allow us to support them in the hardest time of their lives.”
“Hello, my name is Gerri Allinson and I am a member of the Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team. I started working at Hospice in 2010 on the In-Patient unit, on the bank initially as my children were still in school however I was able to secure a contract for school hours.
In 2014 I transferred back to my preferred area, and started a development post with the CNS team. I had worked and trained in Australia and London in Oncology and District Nursing and felt the time had come to move back to my speciality area. Hospice very generously support their staff in education and training and I undertook a Masters module to become a Non-Medical prescriber which only enhanced my skills and made liaising between the GP, Hospital, Patient and Hospice much easier.
The CNS team are responsible for the triage of all new patient referrals, the assessment of their needs, often co-ordinating care between the multiple agencies and departments that are providing treatment. We continue to follow these patients, whether they remain in hospital or are transferred to a Nursing or residential Home or are well enough to return Home. We are a team of 6 experienced Palliative Care Nurses and are supported by our Clinical Co-ordinator and Hospice at Home team at daily morning meetings. We are attached to GP surgeries around the Island and are available Monday-Sunday as well as over the weekends and bank holidays too.
We are privileged to work with patients and families in their homes, it is an important relationship to build and nurture and the foundation of our work. We cultivate this relationship and try to truly understand what our patients and their families/carers need, we help them through the scary times and all our care is 100% patient focused. Everyone’s illness, treatment and ultimate death is different and it is an essential part of our job to enable a good death and equally important to leave good memories for those left behind.
Hospice encompasses the family and friends as one with the patient, if a patient wishes to remain at home, we help co-ordinate and liaise with the District Nurse teams and Hospice at Home team to provide 24 hour support. Several of us are working within the Wellbeing Teams around the island and we have excellent links to Community Stores, Chemists, Ambulance service and MEDS. We are an Island service and we touch so many people within the communities we live and work in.
I believe our team is amazing, we are a group of true professionals who care so much for their patients and families. We are there, usually from the start of someone’s diagnosis and also at the end with Bereavement calls. I often get told ‘I couldn’t do your job’ or that it must be so difficult, yes it is not easy. Death is so ‘personal’ and such a difficult time in everyone’s life, but I consider it a real honour that my patients and families welcome and allow us to support them in the hardest time of their lives. That trust is hard earned and makes the job so worthwhile, we get told that so often in the lovely cards and messages sent to us. A reminder that we do a great job even when their world has altered forever. “