COLUMN: Spotlight on Macmillan nurses, and palliative and end of life care

Lincolnshire Community Health Services' Maz Fosh.
Lincolnshire Community Health Services' Maz Fosh.

Towards the end of last month there was an increased focus on support for cancer sufferers with the Macmillan Cancer Support World Coffee morning, so I thought I would dedicate this column to talking about the roles of our Macmillan nurses and our palliative and end of life care services.

At Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) we care for patients who are nearing the end of their life and we also provide palliative care beds at our community hospitals and at the Butterfly Hospice. These beds are not just for people with cancer but for all palliative and end of life care needs.

The Butterfly Hospice is a partnership between ourselves (LCHS) and the Butterfly Hospice Trust. It is purpose built with six individual patient rooms on four acres of ground near to Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

The hospice provides high quality palliative, end of life and respite care in an informal and homely environment for adults with life-limiting illnesses.

We also provide beds on Archer Ward at County Hospital Louth; Scotter Ward at John Coupland Hospital in Gainsborough; Tulip Suite on Welland Ward at Johnson Community Hospital in Spalding; and on Scarbrough Ward at Skegness Hospital.

A range of staff provide care on the wards including occupational therapists, physiotherapists and nurses. They also have well established links with other medical professionals. The ward staff work hard to maintain a close working relationship with community colleagues, carers, patients’ friends and all those involved in caring for the patient.

We also have a number of Macmillan nurses across the county who work mainly in the community and are linked to GP surgeries. The Macmillan nurses work closely with community nurses and host educational events to enhance professionals’ knowledge on palliative care.

World Coffee Morning was a great opportunity to catch up with friends, family or work colleagues over a cuppa and a treat and donate to a worthwhile cause.

Maz Fosh, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust