Co-Chair & Trustee
Hospice at Home Manager, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court, Cheltenham
Heather qualified in 1994 and whilst always knowing she wanted to work in the community, went on to consolidate her training by completing a 9 month rotational job in general surgery and general medicine before taking up a community nurse post in the North Cotswolds of Gloucestershire. Whist in this role the team was left a donation by a patient who had wished to die at home but was unable to do so due to living alone and a lack of care in the area and she challenged her Community Nurses to set up a service to support people like her to achieve their wishes of remaining at home. From these humble beginnings Kate’s Carers (named in honor of this patient) was launched ultimately changing its name to Kate’s Home Nursing to better reflect the type of care they were delivering. Heather was associated with this Hospice at Home service as a Student Nurse, Staff Nurse and ultimately its Manager for nearly 20 years.
She moved to Sue Ryder in December 2015 to redesign and re launch a new Hospice at Home Service at Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham. Her service is helping to provide a model of supportive Palliative Care in the community which is informing the development of such services at every Sue Ryder Hospice nationally. This new service launched in April 2015 and is rapidly expanding. She completed her MSc in 2007, holds a Diploma in Palliative Care and remains committed to personal professional development and education.
She was awarded the title of Queens Nurse in 2008, one of only 40 such nurses in the country at that time, as formal recognition of her commitment to promoting the highest standards of patient care within the Hospice at Home setting and she remains committed to the core belief of the QNI to this day. She has therefore worked in the community for most of her nursing career and makes no apology for being passionate about the provision of supportive palliative and terminal care to patients in their own home. She always strives to do to the right thing, while accepting this is not necessarily the easiest option and prides herself by always leading by example. She is driven to provide care based on sound clinical principles which puts patients, and those who matter to them, firmly at the center of all care decisions, and it is her great privilege to do so in the comfort of their own home.