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Celebrating Our Staff

COVID-19 has brought with it heart-breaking and unfamiliar changes in the way we provide our care. From the way staff have had to change their interactions with patients and each other, to having difficult conversations with families over the phone rather than in person. Through it all, our staff have adapted and risen to the challenge – committed to providing our patients with compassionate end of life care, and support to their loved ones.

We were delighted to be featured by the Oxford University Hospitals Trust as they celebrated our staff and the work they have done. You can read the full article here or highlights below.

The Sobell House Team increased their staff numbers to ensure everyone had the advice and support they needed, with contributions from skilled colleagues in Oncology, Katharine House Hospice in Banbury and Helen and Douglas House in Oxford.

The Hospital Palliative Care Team kept pace as wards were continually adapted to accommodate changing numbers of COVID-19 positive patients.

Out in the community many patients were ‘shielding’ so our Community Palliative Care Team had to change their practice considerably, initially moving to a telephone service, and then to virtual consultations with ‘Attend Anywhere’, and home visiting with PPE where needed.

Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists continued to visit patients in their own homes to ensure they had the right equipment and knowledge to maintain their quality of life. Therapists on the ward continued to provide the rehabilitation that enabled patients to get back to their families.

Mindful that patients and families might not be contacting healthcare services due to the crisis, the Sobell Voluntary Service began a ‘Telephone Check-in’ system with weekly or fortnightly calls to known patients and clinical staff alerted of any concerns.

The Sobell Bereavement Service continued to provide support and counselling throughout, with volunteers working over the telephone: they now offer video calls, for those families who prefer to see a friendly face.

All of this was achieved with the help of incredibly flexible administration teams, providing support where it was most needed; in reception, on the ward and on the telephones.

The Palliative Care Service is supported by the Sobell House Hospice Charity, which has always been there for us, raising funds for our services and providing the thoughtful little gifts and snacks that made our staff feel so valued.

Professor Bee Wee, Clinical Lead for Palliative Care, says:

I am privileged and honoured to work with such amazing colleagues. They have risen with courage and commitment to the challenge of coping with the impact of COVID-19 professionally and personally, with good heart and in so many different ways. Working with such colleagues is truly uplifting.