Caring over Christmas with Rennie Grove’s nurses

A Rennie Grove night nurse.

A Rennie Grove night nurse. - Credit: Archant

Rennie Grove Hospice Care offers a 24/7 service to patients the whole year through – and Christmas Day is no exception. Around 18 of the charity’s hospice at home nurses will be working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to ensure as many patients as possible – adults and children – can enjoy Christmas at home with their families.

Rennie Grove’s hospice at home nurses will spend Christmas making planned visits to patients, perhaps checking or reloading a syringe driver to ensure they remain as pain-free as possible, or supporting them with the side effects caused by treatment. They’ll also respond to urgent calls from family members, which might mean giving advice over the phone or making a home visit to administer pain relief for example.

Sue Varvel, director of nursing and clinical services at Rennie Grove, said: “Our nurses’ main aim at Christmas – as it is every day of the year – is to give patients the choice to be cared for at home, surrounded by their family and friends.

“Being with loved ones in a place you know and love is even more important at this time of year so our nurses will do everything in their power to prevent a patient having to be admitted to hospital at Christmas.

“Sometimes it’s sadly unavoidable, but by being at the end of a phone any time of the day or night - able to get to a patient as soon as symptoms occur – our nurses make it much more likely that patients can spend Christmas at home with their families.”

In December, Rennie Grove’s nurses will drive over 37,000 miles across Herts and Bucks to make over 1700 visits to adults and children in need of specialist Hospice at Home care.

Sue added: “It’s thanks to our wonderful supporters, volunteers and the local community that we are able to give so many patients this choice. Their generosity funds 87 per cent of our £7.6 million annual budget and helps patients and families create particularly precious memories at Christmas time.

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“The memories may be priceless but there is a very real cost involved in making them happen, which we couldn’t hope to cover without the generosity of our supporters. So on behalf of Rennie Grove Hospice Care I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped us this year and to wish them a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”