08 March 2019

Happy birthday Hospice at Home, St Albans

Rennie Grove Hospice Care has recently celebrated a decade of bringing hospice at home care to patients in the St Albans area.

St Albans Hospice at Home team 

And to mark the occasion, the charity held a special celebratory afternoon tea at Grove House – the home of its day services in St Albans – welcoming many of those involved in setting up the service, including supporters, volunteers and staff and trustees, past and present.

Hospice at Home nurse Clair Jones was one of the first nurses to join the new service back in 2009. “We have come a long way since our first patient was referred into our service more than 10 years ago”, she explains. “To begin with, offering specialist end-of-life care to patients at home was a new concept in the area and it took a while for our service to become known and understood by the existing local health professionals. However in time they got to know us and we now have an excellent working relationship with local GPs and community nurses.

“The hospice at home service started in a small way, with nurses working from 8am to 6pm 7 days a week while the service developed. As awareness of the service grew and staffing levels were built up, it soon moved to a 24/7 model to mirror the hospice at home service that was already running successfully in other parts of Herts and Bucks.

 Hospice at Home anniversary cake

“Our team has continued to develop over the last 10 years as patient numbers have grown and now includes two clinical nurse specialists. Our 24/7 responsive service means that we are always here when our patients and their families need us”, Clair added.

Dr Phil Sawyer, who was a trustee at the time the hospice at home service was introduced, has used the service across the years as a GP at Parkbury House Surgery in St Albans. He said: “It is a fantastic service that really supports local patients and families and facilitates them to die in their preferred place of care. The hospice at home nurses are always approachable and supportive and interact really well with the practice and district nurses to make sure the care provided is as seamless as possible.”

 Sue Varvel cuts the cake

To find out more about Rennie Grove’s hospice at home service and range of day and family support services available to local families, please visit our patients and families pages.