We wanted to introduce the amazing Beaumond House team and their thoughts and experiences of working here...
Meet Tracy Beaumont, Health Care Assistant
Working for H@H in the community I have noticed the changes over the weeks. In the beginning there was a number of different reactions from different people, and I think people were confused about what they should or shouldn't be doing.
We have to ask before we go into each house if anyone in the house has developed any symptoms overnight e.g high temperatures coughs. Which was necessary and important but sometimes I felt mindful of adding to their worries. Because sometimes when a person is coming to the end of their lives they may develop these symptoms but it doesn't mean they have coronavirus. If they had got any of these symptoms we would wear masks,apron and gloves and ask if we could take their temperature at every visit. We also take paper towels to wash and dry hands on the way out. We soon started to wear masks,gloves and aprons with everyone before we entered the house (which we are still doing now). One occasion a neighbour had seen us going into a patients home in PPE and had gone to the patients house after we left and asked if they had coronavirus, which was very upsetting for them.
Some people who are anxious already have become even more so and I recognise this from the moment I step in the house, so I have to try to reassure them as much as I can, but this in turn makes me a little more anxious also. Then there are others that tell you they have lived through a lot worse than this and they aren't fazed at all.
As the weeks are going on I'm starting to see more people that are feeling lonely and fed up, as they have not had visitors and we are doing some pop in support calls which are gratefully received. Never have I felt more humbled than when I have been clapped and thanked by complete strangers walking past as I'm going about my work.
This very strange time has certainly united us in a way I never thought possible. The many acts of kindness I have witnessed is very overwhelming and humbling.
Meet Tracy Drakes, Health Care Assistant
I’m fortunate to be able to work in house & in the community. I’m also very grateful that my job allows me to still work! It’s been a tough time for all with some of our team having to shield and others furloughed.
The extra PPE kit that we wear can feel so impersonal and scary to our patients but it has to be done for all of our safety & wellbeing. It’s amazing how quickly we’ve all adapted in the corona times. In the community,having to get gowned up from the boot of your car could’ve been a lot worse but the weather has been kind so something to be thankful for!
My heart breaks that our inpatients can’t have visitors like before but we have found other ways to keep in touch. Yesterday I was witness to a family wave from Lime Grove to their loved one. In house staff moved the bed to the window so they could see each other and talk on the phone,wave,blow kisses,pretend to hug,truly tear jerking,I’m filling up now just thinking about it.
Wearing the extra kit makes you appreciate what our hospital staff must feel after a long shift in full gear,at least we get a break out of kit.
Despite all of the challenges I’m so happy to do that I do. There are always smiles,laughs and such love in amongst the sadness & heartbreak. BH truly has the most amazing team.
Caring is not difficult, I just imagine that each patient is my Mum or my Dad.
Meet Sue Clarke, Health Care Assistant
In the Queen's speech to the nation on the 75th VE day anniversary, she said:
"...But our streets are not empty, they are filled with the love & care that we have for each other... When I see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride; that we are still a nation that those in WW2 (paraphrase) would recognise & admire.."
With hand on heart, I can honestly say, I have seen & experienced a spirit of care & concern at Beaumond House that is very special for sure.
To start with, a new WhatsApp group began in March, which has become a hotbed of much needed laughter, care & concern and shift swapping between care staff, so that patients get the support they need at a sensitive & difficult time.
Hand made protective visors (PPE) for staff to wear at work were provided & get this; they were designed & made by the spouse of one of our local GP's, how creative is that?
There's been sharing of equipment such as masks between care homes, so when a sister care home or us, is in short supply of PPE, we share what we've got within the group. That really is, share-and-share-alike!
Nursing colleagues and members of the BH board of directors, keep us updated with Covid 19 requirements & timely messages. Support comes in many guises such as letters of encouragement & thanks, hand made laundry bags for our uniforms & various cakes of all shapes & creations from the public. Donations have also come in, both monetary as well as diverse foodstuffs from TK Max and many others.
The list is very long of the kindnesses shown both to us & demonstrated within us as a team. Whilst Covid 19 was & is an unwelcome guest on our shores, and indeed every country's, the virus has somehow brought out the best in us. The compassion for our patients & each other that the Queen referred to, has blossomed further still. We are being honed & pruned which is pulling us together in ways we perhaps never dreamed of before!
As King George 6th (our Queen's dad) said when VE day actually happened;
"...never give up, never despair..."
And it looks as though Beaumond House Hospice listened & put those words into practice.
With thanks & admiration for my colleagues in the whole Beaumond House team.
Sue Clarke (HCA)
Meet Sally who is our Care Services Administrator:
"I joined Beaumond House in March as care services administrator, right in the midst of the pandemic which was and still is a very strange and difficult time for the Hospice.
Despite what's going on, everybody I’ve met and have spoken to over the phone has made me feel so welcome and part of the team but have also shown how passionate they are about Beaumond House and how much they care about every single patient, which really reiterated to me why I wanted to work here so much.
I do feel very honoured to be a part of this amazing team".