NORTH-WEST ENGLAND AND NORTH WALES
(North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, and west of the Pennines up to Cumbria)
Rep: Chris Cheeseman.
Tel: 07803 759865
The North West Regional Group is now meeting via Zoom. Following two meetings, this is now going to be monthly, and the next meeting will be on Tuesday, 13th October 2020, at 1400. If any members wish to join us in the North West please let Chris know on email@example.com and he will let you have the access codes.
SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND AND SOUTH WALES
(SW England and South Wales, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset)
Rep: Karen Murphy
Tel: 01934 423900
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, including the Northern and Western Isles)
Rep: Margery Collin, Strathcarron Hospice, Denny.
Tel: 07921 551885
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.
At present, however, we’re holding shorter, more frequent online meetings, every four to six weeks, usually in the fternoon, with more emphass on peer support.
Online meeting, held on Wednesday 14th October via Zoom
Nine of us met via Zoom, with three apologies.
Most of our conversation continued to be around the impact of Covid-19 on the services that we provide, and sharing various strategies to help us provide as effective a service as possible.
There was a general awareness of admissions being deferred, of fewer referrals because potential patients don’t want to be isolated from families, and the cumulative impact on staff in general. One hospice has been setting up an IT champion, to enable outpatients to access online services more effectively.
Generally, Light Up A Life services (or their equivalent) are being held centrally and streamed.
We noted the impact of limited or online contact on effective bereavement support, when face-to-face contact is so important.
We shared concern at the downplaying of spiritual care in some parts of England; Scottish palliative care standards gnerally appear to be more insightful and supportive.
Next Meeting – We agreed that our next online meeting will be on Tuesday 24th November at 3.30pm. Contact Margery to receive an invite.
(Northern Ireland and Donegal)
Rep: Doreen Draffin, Northern Ireland Hospice, Belfast
Tel: 44 2890 781836
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.