We’re here making a difference and we want to show how
Read how our Ward nurses and Health Care Assistants are making a difference to patients in their final days.
Watch the video to see how our Counselling service is making a difference to patients with a terminal illness.
“One of the greatest things I do is work with patients to live.
“Instead of being a product of their illness, we work to get them to remember who they are and who they were before they got the disease.
“It’s not going to be the same but people can adapt to how they are going to live now. They still have choices.
“We help people feel they can live in a different way. They haven’t lost control. It’s just different.”
Watch Tracey explain her role in supporting patients coming to terms with a terminal diagnosis.
We’re here so that you don’t have to grieve alone.
Read about how our Lymphoedema service is making a difference to people recovering from cancer.
Our Day Therapy is a safe space to allow people living with a terminal illness to be themselves.
Often patients have to cope with their family’s grief and upset as well as their own. When they come to Day Therapy they can stop being a mum or a dad and just focus on themselves, and on having fun.
“Instead of being classed as a patient they become their own person again”, says Beth, Healthcare Assistant in Day Therapy. “They realise who they were and still are. Often they arrive in a low mood but leave with a stitch from laughing so much.”
Watch Beth explain why LOROS Day Therapy is so important to our patients.
We’re here when it matters the most.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to do is add quality back into patients’ lives.”
Kerry and her team of physiotherapists aim to help patients be as independent as possible in the activities that matter to them.
“We talk to patients about what they want to achieve – go for a walk in their garden for example, and we find strategies to help them do that”, she says.
When patients meet their goals they’re regaining their independence, and becoming themselves again.
“That’s why we do what we do. We’re here for the patients to help them achieve what is so important to them.”
Watch Kerry discussing how physio can help keep patients independent.
We’re here making every day count.
Dr Namubo Syatwinda is a junior doctor training to be a GP. She is six weeks into a four-month placement on the LOROS Inpatient Ward.
“I think it’s really important to see palliative care up close if you’re going to be a GP. You need to be well-informed so you can support your patients and offer them services which can help them. It’s not enough to have a rough idea.
“I’ve already learnt so much here. I wasn’t aware of the breadth of services available at LOROS – I didn’t know there was a counselling, day therapy, complementary therapy or breathlessness clinics. Now I know I can refer patients on to these services.
“Hospice care looks at the patient as a whole and treats them holistically, and as a GP, I do that too. It’s not just their physical health but psychological and social aspects too which are so important. These two branches of medicine complement each other well.
“It’s a big responsibility being a GP and particularly prescribing pain relief. But from working here at LOROS I feel much more confident about it. I know what to do. I’m really glad I had the opportunity to come here.”
We're here because of our amazing staff.
The LOROS Community Nurse Specialist Team provides specialist palliative care and advice to patients and families in their own homes.
“We always put aside the time to talk to patients. Appointments in hospital and with the GP are usually just 10 minutes, but we sit and listen to their concerns. I think that’s what people appreciate the most actually, giving them time. During the Covid pandemic GPs were not offering as much face to face contact”, says Louise Wright, CNS Manager.
“We support the whole family too, and act as a point of contact for them. So if, as often happens, a patient has a query about their medication, rather than spend ages trying to get through to their GP to check, they can give us a quick call and find out the answer. Usually they will be able to speak to their own CNS nurse too.
“The CNS team work closely with lots of other teams – both within LOROS and other organisations. That means we can refer patients to other services which can help them and also that we can respond rapidly if they start to feel very poorly and their needs are changing. This can avoid hospital admission which we aim to do.
“During Covid our workload increased a lot as we concentrated on getting people out of hospital and keeping them in their homes. We supported them as much as possible through telephone and video calls, which worked well for patients as many didn’t want visitors in their houses. We’ll try and keep this contact going as it suited some people but we appreciate at times a face to face contact can enhance our role when making decisions for our patients.”
Like other frontline healthcare services, the coronavirus pandemic put LOROS Hospice under significant pressure. Once the lockdown was announced many patient services moved online and we prioritised our inpatient w and supporting patients at home. At the same time LOROS doctors have been supporting colleague across the NHS too.
“Our focus has remained on providing the best care we can and to this end, we’ve been collaborating closely with our local NHS to deliver a joined up service for care at home, in hospital and on our inpatient ward.
“During the first wave of Coronavirus, we had two ward doctors sent to us by UHL and a more senior LOROS doctor went to work in the hospital.
“LOROS doctors are visiting more patients at home and we are supporting our community nurse specialists who make home visits, by running a helpline to offer specialist advice.
“We’re also providing more outpatients clinics, both by video and telephone calls, and face to face, so that people get the help they need.
“Like in other healthcare settings, our team of doctors at LOROS have experienced personal challenges from Coronavirus too. Thankfully we’re all still here.”
Since the beginning of coronavirus, we've been committed to continuing to provide care to those in need. In some cases, social distancing has made this difficult, and we've had to rethink the way we work.
One such service is Home Visiting, which is highly valued by many of our outpatients. In order to continue delivering this support, many of our wonderful Home Visiting Volunteers have retrained into our Telephone Befriending Service.
These calls can be undertaken anywhere and enable patients to have a chat with someone who can offer kindness, compassion, and often, a good giggle too.
Dan Smeeton, Community Volunteer Visiting Services Manager, said, “Our wonderful volunteers were devastated to not be able to visit the patients they are friends with, due to the virus.
“When we asked if they would like to speak to them on the phone or via video call, they jumped at the chance. So any patients that felt they would benefit from a call, have been chatting with our volunteers weekly/fortnightly and even daily, in some cases.
“We know how important this has been for many of those patients, particularly those people who live alone. The feedback has been amazing and this has felt great for our team - to know we are still making a difference.”
Alison, one of our brilliant Telephone Befriending Service Volunteers, says, "There is a lady I call every week who spends every hour of every day with her husband. My job is to listen, take an interest and maybe cheer her up a bit.
"I really feel like I'm helping, she says that she feels so much better after my call."
Cecilia Davis, Creative Facilitator, often helps patients on our Ward create memory boxes as they approach end of life.
“Memory boxes are made by the patient for a relative, friend, or sometimes their whole family. They contain reminders, favourite things, emotional connections which help them feel close to their loved one after they have died.
“I help them think through all the elements they could include. Photos, favourite poems, scent, pressed flowers, tickets to events or holidays. People often include letters and cards with family recipes, birthdays, personal notes and advice for the future.
“It can be difficult to get hold of these items and when that happens I try my best to recreate them. Making an airline ticket, or recreating a memory of playing rounders on a beach.
“It’s quite a responsibility, particularly when a patient is very ill. I have to include everything they want, everything they say and in the way they say it. Otherwise I’d be changing their personality, and the box wouldn’t be a genuine reflection of them.
“We sometimes support children to get involved and include items too. I remember a girl that chose a pair of her grandad’s socks. He used to take them off and throw them at her! It was one of her enduring memories of him.
“It has to be the right time to have conversations with a patient about curating a memory box. The last thing we want to do is make their journey more difficult. But for many people it’s part of preparing by bringing comfort to their loved ones, and that can give them peace of mind.”
“We meet people where they are, emotionally and spiritually. We listen to what they want to share. It’s important patients know they are not alone.
Sometimes people want to explore ways their life has purpose and meaning. When it goes well, we can help them see that every day counts, despite having a terminal diagnosis.
Lots of people cut themselves off from religion during their lives and I can absolutely understand that. I think often people are more open to these conversations when they’re near end of life.
It’s a privilege to listen to be honest. It’s a safe space to tell us things that they can’t or don’t want to tell others. Patients can completely be themselves. And by sharing those thoughts, hopefully they feel less guilty, less isolated and more peaceful