NORTH-WEST ENGLAND AND NORTH WALES
(North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, and west of the Pennines up to Cumbria)
Rep: Chris Cheeseman.
Tel: 07803 759865
Email: chris.cheeseman@ahpcc.org.uk

News

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 25th February at Trinity Hospice, Bispham, Blackpool. We’ll be meeting from 12.00 till 3.00. Please contact Chris if you’re planning to attend.



SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND AND SOUTH WALES
(SW England and South Wales, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset)
Rep: Karen Murphy
Tel: 01934 423900
Email: president@ahpcc.org.uk

News

We have a really good group covering the South-west and South Wales. As well as recent retreats, (overnight at Ammerdown and a recent trip to Somerset) we meet early in the year just for a day, at a location more or less central to us – Weston Super Mare (and previously, Taunton). Then most of us get together at the Conference for another catch up.

The AHPCC South West group met via Zoom on July 16th. Whilst there will always be limitations to a virtual meeting it is interesting to note that attendance was higher than it has been for some time.

  • Each member was given the opportunity to share their experiences from the last few months and inevitably issues surrounding Covid-19 were prominent. It has clearly been a uniquely challenging time that has brought considerable demands but also given rise to innovations and creative thinking.
  • Colleagues have had a diversity of experience; ranging from those who have been present on In-Patient Units throughout to those who have worked mainly remotely to those who have been furloughed. Some themes that emerged included the challenges of fatigue and how we might give support to staff as well as modelling self-care; the opportunities and limitations of remote working and what the future might look like pot lockdown but in a world where C-19 is still prominent.
  • Examples of creative work were shared, in particular the development of on line spiritual care resources that have been widely accessed and much appreciated in some areas. In some situations there has been a reaffirmation of the value of chaplaincy within hospice and palliative care. At the same time there are organisations that still do not seem to ‘get it’ and are making the age old mistake of conflating spiritual care with religious provision.
  • A further theme to emerge was the financial challenges many hospices are facing, along with the wider charitable sector, and how this might impact on job security. We attempted to offer solidarity with one another, especially to those for whom the situation is serious and uncertain.
  • We ended by wishing one of our colleagues well as she moves to a new chaplaincy role in another sector.

Andrew Webster. St David’s Hospice Care, South Wales.

Our next meeting will take place on October 1st, starting at 10.00am. Contact Andrew, or Karen Murphy for further details on 01934 423900



SCOTLAND
(Scotland, including the Northern and Western Isles)
Rep: Margery Collin, Strathcarron Hospice, Denny.
Tel: 07921 551885
Email: margery.collin@ahpcc.org.uk

News

We have about fifteen active members, with a typical attendance of eight to ten when we meet, three times a year. We normally take it turns to act as host, and to travel to each other’s hospice or unit, often travelling considerable distances to do so!
Our meetings are usually run from 10:30 to 3.30, and include a presentation and discussion, time for reflection, resource sharing and peer support.

Extra meeting, held on Tuesday 7 July via Zoom

Seven of us met via Zoom, with three apologies.
We welcomed Gerrie Douglas-Scott who has been working in NHS Ayrshire and Arran and also volunteers at the Ayrshire Hospice.
Most of our conversation was around the effects of lockdown and the changes which are currently taking place as restrictions are lifted.

Topics discussed included:

(a) Working from home has brought problems by way of technological issues and also the lack of personal contact.
(b) Working on site has noted changes in morale over time
(c) Instances of tensions betwen professions over visiting rules, and changes in identity from being compassionate caregivers to having to act as gatekeepers
(d) Some staff who have been furloughed are nervous coming back. Some need help to reintegrate.  Some feel vulnerable.  Some have feared for their jobs.
(e) We need to plan for post-lockdown staff support, identifying instances of anger at being unable to work on-site, sadness at being side-lined, loss of routine.

Often it isn’t the immediate help that works best in trauma but help given later when the worst seems to have passed.  Chaplaincy support can help others reflect on what has happened, where they are now and where they hope to be in the future.
We also noted that many other sources of staff support have been made available, often highlighting a continued lack of understanding of the role of chaplaincy.
And just as important is the support that we as chaplains require for ourselves in order to be able to complete our tasks effectively.

Next Zoom Meeting – We agreed that another extra meeting will take place by Zoom on Tuesday 4 August at 2.30pm. Contact Margery to receive an invite.

Next official meeting – Tuesday 8 September, Roxburghe House, Dundee tbc by Patrick by 25 August.  If not meeting on site, we’ll continue by Zoom

The SBAR we discussed in March might be a useful model for other groups to adapt and use, so we’ve kept it available for download: AHPCC Scotland SBAR.
You can also download our responses to the questions in the Assessment section: SBAR Feedback.



NORTHERN IRELAND
(Northern Ireland and Donegal)
Rep: Doreen Draffin, Northern Ireland Hospice, Belfast
Tel: 44 2890 781836
Email: doreen.draffin@ahpcc.org.uk

News

We meet three or four times a year, taking it in turn to act as host. Each meeting begins with a short reflection, followed by a teaching focus, time for discussion and fellowship over a meal.
We last met on 18th June, when we further discussed the topic of spiritual pain, or soul pain. Each of us benefited from an enlightening talk and group discussion. Our next meeting will be in October at Foyle Hospice.