“It’s lovely knowing we’re able to help people”

News and Blog

Sammy Boswell and Zoe Beck joined our hospice in October 2021 in the newly created roles of Patient and Family Co-ordinators.

The pair said they were open minded when they started about what the role would look like. Three months in they’re enjoying the varied tasks involved with being our first Patient and Carer Co-ordinators.

Sammy describes the role as “perfect for me.” She says, “I want to help others and be a part of something special and I’d heard such wonderful things about St Catherine’s.”

Zoe experienced our care firsthand when her Dad was at the hospice for 6 weeks in 2016. “The care was outstanding,” recalls Zoe. “And I wanted to be part of a team who offers holistic care to patients and their families because I know the difference it makes.”

In their roles Sammy and Zoe have had to learn new things and adapt to new processes

“I’ve spent more time on the computer since I started here than I did in all my school years,” says Sammy. “Surprisingly I don’t feel I’m doing too bad. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how many organisations there are that can help and support people with various conditions and needs.”

For Zoe using Crosscare, our patient record system, has been something new. “I previously worked in the NHS for 13 years so I’ve used certain admin processes but not Crosscare before.”

The Patient and Carer Co-ordinator role is unique as it crosses all our services and supports people under our care with their whole journey, from referral through to the end and bereavement

No two days are the same and the ladies do a range of things daily. One day they could be doing first assessment letters to patients, running our bereavement report and sending out letters. The next day, they could be doing welfare follow up calls, signposting people to other services that can offer them relevant support or making referrals for wellbeing and helping the wellbeing team to answer phones. They also run weekly first contact reports and in an average week send out 20-40 letters so they do a lot of printing too! As we continue to open up more services again like our Living Well Centre their roles will continue to develop and evolve.

“We’re both still learning but different teams and colleagues we work with have been so helpful. They’re always willing to answer questions and support us,” explains Sammy.

The number of patients and relatives the pair speak with each day varies depending on referrals, follow up calls and signposting but it’s usually not less than 4 and sometimes they can speak to 10 or more patients and families a day. Zoe in particular finds this rewarding. “There’s a connection for me as it’s linking the very positive experience my family had with the hospice to help other families experience that same holistic care. I can empathise with people having been through a similar thing myself.”

People need help with various things but Sammy says, “It’s mainly carers reaching out for support and help with their loved ones to alleviate pressures.” “As our job develops we’ll become more aware of the things people need support with,” adds Zoe.

Both Sammy and Zoe enjoy being able to help people when it’s needed most

“Being able to help someone even if it’s with the littlest thing like completing a form on their behalf is so rewarding,” explains Sammy.

“It’s so nice to feel like I’m helping others and it gives me great job satisfaction. When someone I’m speaking to is so grateful for what I’ve done for them, I think it’s just “my job” but to them it’s so much more. For example, I helped a lady who needed to get her cat vaccinated recently. She can’t get out much and doesn’t drive. It meant so much to her that I was able to organise for the vet to pick up her cat in the morning, do his vaccinations and drop the cat home in the evening. It was a lovely feeling knowing I was able to help.”

Zoe says “being part of such a strong, supportive team” has been one of the best things for her. She adds, “I’m really keen to learn as much as possible and to progress within the hospice. I would love to do some work on the IPU at some point in the future – it would be like going full circle to where Dad was cared for.

When my Dad was here the staff were so supportive in all aspects of his care and to us as a family. It’s that same ethos being a staff member. The same support is there for you from colleagues as it is when you’re a relative of someone being cared for. That’s been really nice.”

“I agree,” adds Sammy. “Everyone here is so supporting of each other and I’m pleased to work for a company that care for and value their staff. It’s also great to know the job opportunities that could be on offer to me.”

When asked to sum up their job in three words Sammy says her role is “rewarding, interesting and meaningful,” Zoe sums up with “rewarding, supported and collaborative.”

The pair are also looking forward to being at our new hospice and Zoe is looking forward to fundraising events coming back as well. “After Dad was cared for I did the Midnight Walk, walking 13 miles in my flip flops! It gave me a lift having been a service user to be able to provide money for others to have similar care.”

We’re always looking for great people to join our hospice! To find out more about working at St Catherine’s and our latest vacancies visit our job page