Caring is at the heart of everything we do.

03 Mar


Help make every moment count this spring.

It seems hard to believe that it’s almost a year since the new adult Hospice on Somerton Road opened. This new, world class facility has already transformed the way we are able to care for patients.

Whether it’s in our new Hospice or in people’s homes the care that we provide is only possible thanks to the local community, who give so generously to Hospice.

Hospice care is constantly evolving and our aim at Northern Ireland Hospice is to remain at the forefront of developments in palliative care. We will continue to ensure our patients, your family and friends, receive the best possible care at the end of life. However, to deliver this, we need your ongoing support.

Will you please make a donation of whatever you can afford, today?

A donation of £23, for example, could pay for an hour of hospice care for one of our patients in the adult Hospice. It takes a large team of skilled healthcare professionals to deliver the care that our patients need.

You can donate by clicking here or calling 028 9077 7123.

Here at Northern Ireland Hospice care is delivered through our multi-disciplinary teams. This includes the Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Chaplains, Creative and Complementary Therapists.

Hospice Consultants play an integral role in the care of our patients. Their work is crucial to making sure patients get the care they need at the end of life.  We would like to share the experience of one of our Consultants to explain a little of the sort of work that donations from the public help make possible each and every day of the year. 

Dr Alan McPherson (pictured above with Hospice Nurse Katie) has been working as a Consultant at Northern Ireland Hospice for almost four years now. He trained in Queen’s University, before moving on to postgraduate hospital training in Northern Ireland.

It was during this time that he witnessed the unmet needs of patients and the huge difference palliative medicine can make for people when they are most in need. This spurred Alan on to train in palliative medicine in Belfast. 

Alan outlined a typical day for him at Hospice, to highlight what your donations make possible.

‘A typical day will start with a handover meeting with the staff who have been on duty the night before. This allows us to get up to speed with any issues or complications that there may have been overnight.

Following quickly on from this I will move on to the daily admissions meeting. This meeting is a really important part of the day. It is here that we receive all our patient referrals. These can come from many different sources including GPs, Hospitals and our own Community Hospice Nurse Specialists.

These can be very difficult meetings as we have to triage and prioritise patients depending on their level of need. Demand for our service is continually growing as we see many more people living longer, with much more complex care needs. Unfortunately this means we have a waiting list for patients to be admitted and some people have to wait longer than we would want, to get a bed. 

The rest of the morning is taken up with my ward rounds. This gives me a chance to meet with the patients and their families to see how they are and check on their care needs as well as making any changes that are needed to things like medication and pain relief. 

This session also gives me an opportunity to spend time with the trainee Doctors while they are on placement at Hospice. This is a vital piece of our work as it allows us to train our future generation of palliative medicine specialists. It also allows us to spread our knowledge of palliative medicine to a wider range of trainee doctors, so that they can then take this experience into their future careers, in whichever field of medicine that may be.

 In the afternoon we then admit our new patients. This is done in conjunction with the nursing team, so that we are all aware of the patient’s needs and prevents patients from having to repeat things.

The final part of the day will often be taken up with meetings with colleagues from the multi-disciplinary team to discuss ongoing cases as well as delivering training and education. Then before finishing for the day I have a handover with the staff who will be on duty and on call that night.’

As you can see our consultants have a packed and varied schedule. Each day they play a key role in caring for our patients at the end of life.

As Alan explains one of the most challenging things about his job.

‘We see lots of difficult things and it can be very hard to manage the emotional side of the job as we journey alongside patients and their families. I have found the best way of coping is to think about the difference we are making to people. It would undoubtedly be so much harder for them if we were not there to help.’

The patients and families we care for are going through tremendous hardship, but they often tell us about the really positive difference Hospice care has made to them. People like Stephen Small. Stephen’s father sadly passed away in 2015.  “I don’t know if people realise, unless they have needed the service, just how positive an experience the Hospice gives to people with a terminal illness and their families.” This is only possible thanks to the support of the local community.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what your donations make possible.

Will you please help us carry on this vital work by making a further donation today of £23 or whatever you can afford?

 You can make your donation by clicking here or by calling us on 028 9077 7123.