Cornwall LivingIssue #102

The value of time

Cornwall Hospice Care reflects on the importance of having time to get to know patients and their families.

Time was the theme for Cornwall Hospice Care when the Cornish charity marked national Hospice Care Week. Under the title of ‘We have the time to…’, the charity’s two Ward Sisters reflected on having time to get to know their patients and their families.

Lou Ranford is the Ward Sister at St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle: “It’s about having time to spend with the patients so we can really get to know them. We look at how we manage a patient’s symptoms and how we can support their family, so we can help them achieve their end goal, whether that be going home or having quality time in
the hospice.” 

Sally Davies, Ward Sister at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell, adds: “A relative once said to me that they believe impressions are made within the first ten minutes of meeting people and arriving at a new place. It means you’ve got a very short time to make a good impression. It’s vital that we put the patient first so they know they’re important and that we’ve got as much time as they need. It’s about recognising when someone needs help to settle, finding them a peace. It’s also about giving the family the time to hand the care over to us, so they can return to being a husband, wife, parent, child.”

“Everyone plays a vital part in getting it right for our patients,” Sally continues. “Our volunteers often get chatting with patients and their families when serving meals or delivering flowers. The chefs sit with patients and try to find ways of enticing them to eat. The housekeepers are often in patients’ rooms for longer periods of time and they too get in to conversation. Between us all we build up a picture so we can care for the individual and appreciate the little things that can make their stay very special.”

Lou Ranford says the individualised approach also helps break down the myths about hospice care: “With time and our team approach we can help change people’s minds about hospices, showing them they’re open, airy, happy places. Once here we see people relax, feel at ease and comfortable and there’s nothing better than that feeling of having successfully addressed someone’s concerns.”

Cornwall Hospice Care
01726 839156