Reflections from Rowcroft’s Chair of Trustees

How Rowcroft’s teams go “above and beyond”

Sally Scott-Bryant has been Chair of the Board of Trustees at Rowcroft Hospice for three years. In this thought-provoking blog, Sally outlines a few of the challenges that have been facing the hospice through the pandemic, and she highlights some of the hospice’s significant achievements against this difficult backdrop. Sally explains why she’s neverendingly inspired by Rowcroft’s teams, and describes her overwhelming sense of pride in all of Rowcroft’s staff and volunteers.

Rising to the challenge

“Our society has continued to face unprecedented and life-changing challenges as we moved through the COVID pandemic, and the structures of our daily lives and working protocols have been altered immeasurably. I am immensely proud of the way in which Rowcroft’s staff and volunteers have continued to rise to the challenges, both from a professional and personal perspective.”

Keeping people safe

“Rowcroft’s first priority has at all times been to keep our patients and their families safe. Advice from the government and NHS communities has become more granular as lessons were learnt and information was more readily shared across the world.

“Rowcroft’s senior team has continued to orchestrate open and honest communication channels throughout the year, which has again been pivotal in setting the scene to ensure that our teams felt confident that their personal safety was paramount as they continued their essential patient contact.”

Professionalism at its very best

“The clinical team’s approach to ‘getting on with the job’ despite their personal fears has been a further testament to their consummate professionalism in order to fulfil our mission of making every day the best possible day for our patients and their families.

“Particularly noteworthy is how the clinical ‘mise en scène’ continues to encourage and cultivate an open cycle of evaluation, followed by learning and quality improvement within the Inpatient Unit and within the outreach of our Community Team and Hospice at Home Team.

“Our medical training program and clinical expertise are inspiring and have amplified the desire of the team to continue to drive an open and deep understanding of the benefits of great palliative care. I know they have been widely acknowledged for this. And our Education Team has continued to offer a myriad of free training and development opportunities, and have secured funding for specialist programmes from a number of sources.

“I am in no doubt about the professionalism and dedication of teams across the whole organisation, including all the wide-ranging commercial and support teams who are vital for the smooth running of the hospice and whose roles include: raising much-needed income through fundraising and commercial ventures including through our own shops and cafes; maintaining the hospice grounds and buildings; providing services such as financial, catering, housekeeping, administrative and IT support; ensuring all our people are well-supported; and communicating our messages to keep Rowcroft in the hearts and minds of our local community. It is a privilege to work alongside them all, and they make me hugely proud.”

The very highest standards of care

“We have continued to operate and deliver a high standard of care. This has been achieved in no small way by the conscientious nature of our staff and volunteers who have shown great resilience and fortitude alongside an admirable flexibility.

“It must be acknowledged that for individuals and their families being introduced to a hospice service is a stressful and difficult time made all the more difficult because of the pandemic and potentially late diagnosis of symptoms. Our teams have dug deep into their personal resources to help people through these complexities in order to make every day count for them.

“The continuous cycle of feedback is so important and we continue to gather this valuable information from a number of sources, helping us to celebrate the positive and alter our approaches if necessary.

“I’m also thrilled that we have launched across the organisation a diversity and inclusion group and will be rolling out a training programme for all employees over the coming year.

“I am heartened by the coming together of all health care professionals in the community which is leading to much stronger working relationships as a result.”

An expert workforce

“In line with our strategic aims, the leadership team has continued to ensure that the hospice has an agile, motivated, educated and skilled workforce to continue on our future journey. Our leadership in palliative and end-of-life care continues to be tremendously valued by the local community, notably the way they have come together to continue to raise funds in such difficult and trying times. It is an amazing achievement and so much very appreciated.”

Going above and beyond

“Once again, I feel it is paramount to recognise that our teams have gone above and beyond to ensure that they deliver the highest quality of care to everyone who needs it, and the Board of Trustees acknowledges this exceptional performance and is extremely grateful to all concerned.

“Rowcroft’s staff and volunteers continue to illustrate shining examples of great teamwork. I am blown away by their tenacity, fortitude and determined selflessness.

“I am immensely proud of this organisation and its people for the resilience and determination shown to continue the commitment to the highest quality of patient care in a challenging environment.”

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