We have recently welcomed two new members to the Hospice at Home team, due to increasing need and the successful development of our Hospice at Home service.

Emily Downs (Hospice at Home Senior Nurse) and Penny Ellis (Hospice at Home Nurse) will work with the team to support patients to die at home with their loved ones beside them. They will use their clinical expertise to assess the patients’ needs and liaise with other services and organisations to enable the highest quality care.

Here they explain about their careers to date and more about their new roles…

Emily Downs – Hospice at Home Senior Nurse

What attracted you to apply for the role for hospice at home nurse?
Having worked locally in Disley for the last couple of years, I had become familiar with Blythe House and the service provided by Hospice at Home. I had been so impressed by the care provided and also the fantastic reputation it had in its locally that as soon as I saw the Job advertised on Facebook I was instantly interested. Looking at the role in more detail, I felt that my experience in both working in a community setting and providing End of Life care would be well suited to the role.

Tell us a little bit about your career to date…
I qualified from Sheffield Hallam University in 2014, throughout my training I knew that my vocation was working within the community, caring for people in the comfort of their own home. So from University I went straight into community nursing, I worked for a number of years in both Tameside and East Cheshire. I grew in confidence and knowledge over this time, having many good learning experiences. Also having the support and mentor of many great and experienced nursing colleagues. In 2018 I then applied to do an Advanced Diploma in Specialist Community Practice at Chester University. From this I went to be District Nurse caseload holder, managing a caseload in Disley with a small team. This involved in both the planning and delivery of care for patients with varying needs. A predominant part of the role was caring for those approaching end of life, I have always felt this is a privileged and trusted position being able to provide care and support in some of the most difficult circumstances.

So far, what have you found that you enjoy most about working at Blythe House?
Since arriving at Blythe House, we have had a very warm welcome from all the team. It is clear to see that everyone working here at Blythe House has a shared passion and commitment to supporting those with palliative and life limiting illness and their families. It is evident that the care that is provided here is individualised with the patient/family’s needs central to support given. I am excited to join a team which has such enthusiasm and commitment to this.

What are you most looking forward to about your role at the hospice?
I am looking forward to getting to know the fantastic team of HCA’s which are essential for the Hospice at Home service. I’m excited to see how my current skills and experience can be utilized- further growing and developing the Hospice at Home service.

Penny Ellis Hospice at Home Nurse

What attracted you to apply for the role for hospice at home nurse?
I have always enjoyed working within the field of Palliative & End of Life nursing and I value the importance of providing the very best care for patients who choose to die in their own homes.

Tell us a little bit about your career to date…
I qualified in March 1998 and started my working life at Macclesfield Hospital working on the general medical wards before moving onto orthopedic surgery. I further progressed into bed manager and clinical coordinator role which enabled me to gain many different nursing and managerial skills. 7 years ago I moved into the area of district nursing to further develop my skills and thoroughly enjoyed caring for palliative and end of life patients. My last position was that of practice nurse whereby I gained further skills, but can honestly say I missed caring for patients with life limiting illness.

So far, what have you found that you enjoy most about working at Blythe House?
Since starting at Blythe House at the beginning of August I have been welcomed into the team and it is clear to see the staff are very passionate about their roles. I have had the opportunity to meet most staff and also some of the volunteers that very kindly give their time to the charity.

What are you most looking forward to about your role at the hospice?
The Hospice at Home service is already providing individualised care to patients in their own homes. With the development of my role I can further provide an extensive assessment of each patients needs when first referred into the service and develop individualised care plans. I am very much looking forward to working alongside other professionals at Blythe House to deliver the very best care and support to patients and their families with life limiting illness.

Find out more about our Hospice at Home service.