Anna Dunscombe is a community district nurse who visits patients in their own homes in and around Ashburton and Buckfastleigh. Anna works for the NHS, and she relies on Rowcroft for specialist advice, support and training in palliative and end-of-life care.
It is this coming together of healthcare professionals towards a mutual goal of achieving the very best care for local patients that is intrinsic to the way Rowcroft operates. Anna has found the support of Rowcroft’s Education Team invaluable in caring for patients in the community.
As a district nurse, Anna and her team visit people at home, administering medicines, helping to manage symptoms, and providing treatment, care and support. “As well as all the day-to-day care that we provide, we also look after patients who are facing the end of their lives,” says Anna. “They have generally either come to the end of their treatment options or have decided that they would like to prioritise their symptom management and comfort. Most of them have chosen to die in their own homes. Together with the GP, our closest colleagues are the Rowcroft Community Team and Rowcroft’s Hospice at Home Team.
“Rowcroft’s support is absolutely key to helping us manage these patients. As a team, we all feel competent in symptom management but there have been many times when we have felt incredibly grateful to have Rowcroft on the end of the phone for advice.”
Over the years Anna has participated in many Rowcroft Education Team study days and courses. As part of this education, Anna completed a video project about communication techniques when wearing face coverings, and Anna has become an ‘End-of-Life Ambassador’.
To find out more about Rowcroft’s online and face-to-face courses, please see: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/education