Continuing the support during Coronavirus

A message from Francis House CEO David Ireland and Sharon Doodson Registered Manager and Director of Care.

Dawn Geddes Francis House care team with child

Things seem to be improving as the R number reduces and the vaccination programme gathers momentum.  As the days become longer and green shoots appear in the garden, we can begin to look forward hopefully to the time when this virus is under control and no longer a threat.

Francis House continues to provide emergency respite care for families in need of a break and about a third of the families who use us for respite are coming for breaks.  So far, we have kept everyone safe.

For the children and young people who come into the hospice, we organise a full programme of fun activities for them in their own rooms and they return home with a photographic diary.  Of course, things are different, but we are doing our best to support people.

Many families are receiving regular telephone calls, and any who are struggling are encouraged to contact us as we may be able to help.

As things improve, we are going to start inviting families to stay, this will be in a section of the hospice on their own but supported by our staff.  We know that many brothers and sisters are needing to talk, and our Emotional Support team are there for any children that need this service.

We have increased the number of nurses on the Homecare team and they are visiting families at home in cases of emergency. If things continue to improve, we are hoping to begin planned respite again during April.

Staff changes

Francis House has seen changes and there has been significant staff movement not least Gill Bevin who retired in November with Sharon Doodson taking over her role as Director of Care and Registered Manager.  Hospice team members Linda Flowers, Dawn Geddes and Kim Higgins will retire at the end of March as will Peter Forster the Fundraising manager and Carmel the well-known receptionist who has been with us from the beginning.  We are very sorry to see them go but wish them a well-deserved retirement.

Cerysa Doherty is now the Clinical Lead, and there are new members of the Care Team and as we are unable to bring volunteers back into the hospice. Our chef Dean now has chef Howard working with him and Elaine on reception is joined by Olivia.

Things are going to be different for some time to come however Francis House remains committed to supporting and helping all who are on its roll and their families.

Hopefully you are all getting your vaccines and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Kindest regards

David Ireland, Chief Executive Officer

Sharon Doodson, Registered Manager and Director of Care

Page last updated 12th February 2021

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