Between 1974 and 1977 I trained and qualified as a Physiotherapist in Bath. I started my career working in the NHS and in 2002 spent 8 years on an Acute Medical Ward. Around a quarter of the people on the ward were classed as being in the end of life stages of care which meant I had to work closely with the palliative care team. Once a month I would attend a forum where I would gain information and feed back to the physiotherapy staff about the best way we could help people and enable them to do as much as possible towards the end of their lives.
I really enjoyed the palliative care side of the job and this encouraged me take the next step to work in a hospice and specialise in this sort of physiotherapy, so I took a job in large hospice in Surrey. After a couple of years I relocated to Chichester and was considering early retirement but I wanted to continue to work, doing what I loved, so I applied for a part time role at St Wilfrid’s and that is how I came part of the team here, three years ago.
I feel that in my position I get to meet people, sometimes at the worst times in their lives, but on the whole it really brings out the best in them.
As soon as I walked into the Hospice I was aware of what a lovely atmosphere it has and I feel very lucky to work here, doing something I love on a regular basis.
The thing I really love about my job is the people. I enjoy meeting patients and their families and being able to support the patients with a terminal illness, to live the best lives they can. I really enjoy the group activities and find some of the activities we run very rewarding – like helping patients to deal with anxiety and breathlessness. I feel this really makes a difference to people and can benefit them immensely.
Another aspect of my work is going out to people’s homes and, working closely with the Occupational Therapist, we are able to help the patient to live more independently. Being invited into patients home is a real privilege.