16 July 2018

Help us combat the national nursing shortage

​We're responding to the national shortage of nurses by launching an appeal encouraging local people to get behind our drive to recruit more newly qualified nurses to join our team of end-of-life care specialists. 

In order to safeguard our service for future generations of families that need its help, we have recently recruited our first-ever newly qualified nurse, Clare Ghey.

Clare, Rennie Grove nurse

Clare said, “I feel so lucky to be the first-ever newly qualified nurse that Rennie Grove has employed.  I’m part of a year-long training scheme designed to help overcome the national shortage of nurses.  The scheme is a unique opportunity in this area for newly qualified nurses to learn about and help to deliver first class hospice care in patients’ homes.

“I worked in an Intensive Care Unit for six months after qualifying but it wasn’t for me as you don’t really have any chance to build relationships with patients or their families.  I chose palliative care because although you can’t always make people better, you can contribute to a better outcome.  And at Rennie Grove you’re in the privileged position of being able to do so in a patient’s own home.

“In my first three months I went on patient visits with the experienced Rennie Grove nurses and now I am making my own visits to patients with less complex care needs as I continue to gain experience from the experts.  New and experienced nurses working together is the perfect combination.  It means we can give patients the best possible care.”

Patients like Ken

Ken was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer earlier this year. His wife, Chris, recalls the fear and panic she felt when he came home from hospital: “Even before he was admitted to hospital I was feeling anxious and alone. At the back of my mind I was worried because he’d changed: sleeping more, eating less, losing weight. But no-one would listen. That’s how I felt until Clare and her colleagues from Rennie Grove arrived.

 Chris and Ken together

“All Ken knew was that he didn’t want to be in hospital. But he was so poorly when he did get home that he couldn’t eat and he just stayed in bed. I was so panicky.

“Then the Rennie Grove nurses came. They were incredibly caring and they took control. That’s what we needed – I was so frightened. The hospital had recommended steroids – but we read the leaflet and were scared by the side effects. Clare came to see us, first with Rebekha, then with Jennie. Between them they reassured us, explaining that steroids could be used at a very low dose in palliative care to relieve pain and make a patient more comfortable. Gradually we felt more confident to try.

“I’m so glad we listened to them! Ken is up on his feet again, eating, laughing and enjoying life.

“Having the time to talk things through with such a caring, knowledgeable team of nurses was priceless. Clare and her mentors give us the confidence and the means to lead a normal life again.”

It costs Rennie Grove £29,600 to recruit a nurse like Clare. Can you help by making a donation?  Every pound you donate will support the salary of another newly qualified nurse. “That means that more patients can benefit from the amazing care that Rennie Grove provides, so thank you for anything you are able to donate,” adds Clare.

Call 01442 890222 or donate online ​here.