28 May 2019

New Director of Nursing & Patient Services

We've appointed Samantha Howard as our new Director of Nursing and Patient Services, following the retirement of former Director of Nursing, Sue Varvel.

Sam Howard  

Sam has 34 years’ experience as a dual registered children’s and adults’ nurse spending the first 26 years of her career as a children’s nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Watford General Hospital.

After seven years in the Clinical Homecare sector where she was Director of Nursing for a UK-wide team of nurses providing care for 80,000 patients at home, Sam joined Rennie Grove Hospice Care in December 2018 as Head of Children’s and Family services.

She takes up the most senior clinical role at Rennie Grove at the same time as we launch our strategy for 2019-2022.

Commenting on her appointment Sam Howard said: “I am very pleased to be taking up my new role at an exciting time for Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Our new strategy contains a number of key aims that have been designed to meet national challenges. These challenges include more people living longer, an increasing number of people nearing the end of life being inappropriately admitted into hospital or receiving unsatisfactory end-of-life care in a care home and a lack of coordination of support for those caring for people at the end of life.

Sam Howard with former director Sue Varvel 

“Our plan is to address these challenges by supporting GPs and other healthcare professionals to identify patients who would benefit from our services and to do this earlier so that a wider number of people can plan better for the end of life. We have been accepted onto the Gold Standards Framework Care Home Training Programme which means we will become accredited to deliver training to care home staff to improve end-of-life experience for their residents. These aims are underpinned by our commitment to ensuring that Rennie Grove’s services are personalised and flexible to fit patients and those caring for them.

“Much of this will depend on expanding our range of family support services and in particular the Supporting Hands programme that we have piloted in Buckinghamshire and are now rolling out across North West Hertfordshire. Supporting Hands offers practical and emotional assistance to our patients and their carers and we rely on a team of trained volunteers, supervised by our qualified therapists, to deliver this service in the community.

“On a personal note I am looking forward to influencing the growth and development of children’s and family support services in a meaningful way in my new role and making sure that we meet the needs of all patients who need our care now and in future.”