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An update from our clinical teams

05 May, 2020

An update from our clinical teams

It’s not quite business as usual at the Hospice, but together, our team are trying to minimise disruption to our services and ensuring we continue to provide quality care to those who need it. Here is just one of the ways our teams are pulling together and adapting the way they work.

Remote bereavement support for children

Beth Gregan, our Children’s Lead of Bereavement would normally meet face to face with over thirty children aged between 4 and 18 each week. During this time it’s more important than ever to continue this vital bereavement support, so Beth has come up with some creative  ways to keep in touch.

"Doing the work that I do with the children means that I build up really strong, trusting relationships with them.  I’ve told them I will always be here and during these uncertain times, I want to remain their ‘constant’ and provide some routine. I now FaceTime the children each week which has been really successful, and I’ve sent them personalised packs which are a big hit. When I FaceTimed with one little girl, who is just five years old, she said to me “I’m so pleased you haven’t forgotten about me, Beth”.  

Beth Gregan, Children’s Lead of Bereavement

Keeping families talking

Sadly Government guidance means that visiting on our Inpatient Ward is severely restricted. Our Family Support Team are doing all they can to help patients and their families stay connected: 

“One of the ways we’re helping families to stay in touch, to talk and see each other, is by using digital technology such as Skype on a laptop or a tablet. We’ve had a few technical difficulties as this wasn’t something we were prepared for but when patients are able to see their loved ones on a screen it means the world to them. This has also been reassuring for loved ones who haven’t ever been to St Oswald’s before.”

Amanda Wait, Social Worker at St Oswald’s


We are looking for donations of iPads or laptops that could help our patients stay in touch with their families, so please let us know if your company might be able to help. You can reach the team on 0191 246 9123 or email fundraising@stoswaldsuk.org


A listening ear when the road ahead isn't clear

For many of the patients who attend our day services, it may be the only time they get out of the house each week. As we currently can’t provide these face to face sessions onsite, our Focus On Living Team have been making weekly telephone calls to offer a friendly voice. Patients are also being offered access to art supplies, jigsaws, books, relaxation CD’s and ideas to help people focus, feel less anxious and feel supported during this time.

“Each time we call someone we don’t know what issues they are facing so a call could take anything between ten minutes and 90 minutes. However, despite all of this, the patients are always pleased to hear from us and value and appreciate the contact.”

Carole Taylor, Coordinator of Therapeutic Activities


We are dedicated to offering the very best care to our patients and together with our expert teams, we will continue to be here for all who need us.