Francis House appoints new Registered Manager

Sharon Doodson becomes Registered Manager and only the third Director of Care to be appointed in the history of Francis House.

Sharon Doodson seated at desk at Francis House

Sharon Doodson - Registered Manager at Francis House

Registered Manager and Director of Care

As the new Registered Manager and Director of Care, Sharon Doodson will lead a Hospice Care team of more than 50 staff and will be managing the care at Francis House and Francis Lodge, responsible for all aspects of the Hospice service and clinical oversight of the Residential Care staff.

Sharon said: “I had ideas on how it was going to be taking over as the Registered Manager of Francis House and all that it would entail, but a global pandemic was not on my radar!  It has been a very difficult time for Francis House and something that has affected every single person, from families to staff.

“We have adapted and changed the way we normally work to meet government guidelines to ensure the continued safety of the children, young people and the staff. I am proud to manage such a fantastic team.”

Nursing career

A Registered Nurse, Sharon has worked at Willow Wood Hospice, Accident and Emergency for Pennine Acute Trust and later became a District Nurse for Stockport NHS Foundation. Whilst on the District Nurse Team she became the Palliative Care Link Nurse. Sharon joined the Francis House Team in February 2015 becoming a member of the Senior Team in December and was appointed Clinical Lead in September 2016.

“I knew on my first day working at Francis House that I would spend the rest of my nursing career here. I never expected it would be as the Registered Manager, but I am grateful for the opportunity.

“I do not take the responsibility lightly; I understand the commitment that the job entails, and I am determined to work hard for the families to ensure they continue to receive outstanding care.

“I am passionate about holistic care, as a student nurse you hear so much about holistic care but sadly in a busy NHS environment it is not always possible and can be very frustrating. Within a day of working at Francis House I observed holistic care at its best and I was so excited to be able to work somewhere that had holistic care embedded within its philosophy and ethos.

“Francis House cares for the whole family, not just the sick child, and we are fortunate that we are able to give the quality and time to children and families. I will strive to continue to maintain a safe, effective, individualised caring service, with the needs of the children, young people, and families at the centre of any decisions I make.

“I would like to thank Gill Bevin for all of her support. The groundwork she has put into Francis House has left very strong foundations for me to build on. The Hospice is continuing to grow and expand and I am looking forward to working with David Ireland and developing the hospice further so that we can expand our services and reach out to even more families.”

Sharon Doodson, Registered Manager and Director of Care

End of an era

Sharon took over the role of Registered Manager from Gill Bevin in August. Gill worked alongside Sharon and also helped review the Hospice Policies and Procedures until her final day on the 6th November 2020.

Gill Bevin with a young person at Francis House

Gill Bevin retires after 18 years at Francis House.

Gill said, “I have worked at Francis house since July 2002.  My time on the Care team, with Seasons and on the Homecare team taught me so much professionally and personally and prepared me for the next 11 years as Registered Manager.

“This role has been the pinnacle of my career and I feel honoured to have played my part in the Francis House history.  Sharon will ensure that the future of Francis House is in safe hands.  She has more than demonstrated the passion and commitment to take the Hospice forward into its next stages of its growth and development to meet the ever-changing needs of the young people and their families.  I wish her every success and happiness in this demanding role.”

Chris Roberts, Chairman of the Board of Trustees added: “The Trustees were delighted to appoint Sharon as the new Registered Manager.  Sharon has more than demonstrated the skills and abilities needed for the post.

“Sharon is only the third Director of Care to be appointed in our 30 years of existence.  The Trustees are unanimous in their thanks to the retiring Registered Manager, Gill, for her outstanding contribution and personal devotion to the Hospice over the last eighteen years.”

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