Staff nurse Jane Huppach’s approach to work is a shining example of the high-class quality of nursing carried out at Pendleside Hospice.
Jane, 52, joined the hospice as it moved into its purpose-built building in Reedley in 1997, and has been one of the leading members of the clinical team ever since being awarded the East Lancashire Health Trust best mentor award in 2018.
And it is nurses like Jane who we will be celebrating on International Nurses’ Day on May 12 and recognising them this year for how they have led patient care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jane is just one of 80 nursing staff who provide palliative care to patients on the In Patients Unit and with the Hospice At Home team at Pendleside.
She trained and worked at The Christie and Wythenshaw hospitals in Manchester before beginning her career at Pendleside.
Jane said: “Early in my career I realised that palliative care was the area I wanted to concentrate and I have never regretted joining Pendleside for one second.
“I am among a team of trusted professionals who take on a lot of responsibilities and dedicate their daily duties not only to the patients, who we get to know very closely, but also to their families which is different to when I was working in hospitals.
“I have met some incredible people and find it such a privilege to be working here. No two days are ever the same but you have such a strong feeling of belonging to a family all of the time. The NHS just doesn’t have the resources to allow the staff-to-patient ratio that we have but that ratio is why we are able to provide the service that we do.”
Another member of the IPU team is 25-year-old staff nurse Sophie Newman who joined Pendleside 20 months ago after working in the gastro and liver faculty at Aintree Hospital on Merseyside.
Sophie studied nursing at the University of Cumbria during which time she carried out work experience at St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
She said: “From the time I worked at the hospice I knew I wanted to work in palliative care eventually but wanted to get all of my clinical training behind me first.”
Before joining Sophie was aware of Pendleside because her family launched the first Little Hospice Heroes Walk nine years ago after her gran had been treated in the hospice.
She said: “I absolutely love my job and working in a hospice allows you so much more time with patients and their families.”
And helping to develop the Hospice At Home services is auxiliary nurse Steven Cunningham who joined Pendleside in October last year when it expanded its care in the community service during the Covid-19 pandemic as house calls increased by more than 20 per cent.
Steven, who trained at Manchester Children’s Hospital previously worked with ventilator-dependent children with tracheostomies in the Greater Manchester area, moved back to Burnley to work when Covid made travelling difficult.
He said: “Since I joined Pendleside everyone has been so incredible helping me settle in. I love the work I am doing because you can strike up relationships with your patients and are given the responsibility of not only identifying problems but also sorting them out.
“One of my Hospice At Home patients had to be moved to the inpatients unit and asks for me every day because I have got to know him so well. And, of course, I go to visit him as many times as I can because that’s the type of relationships that we have.”
Helen McVey, chief executive at Pendleside, said: “We are very proud to have a hugely responsible and dedicated team of nurses and it’s great that one day a year we can stop for a moment and celebrate their fantastic efforts especially during the unprecedented time that we are going through at the moment.”