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We were delighted to add a brand new role to our clinical team over the summer as Rebecca Kelly joined St Oswald’s Hospice one day a week as our Infection and Prevention Control Nurse.

Rebecca brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will help us to make the Hospice as safe as it can be for our patients, staff, volunteers and visitors.

Rebecca said:

“Since becoming a nurse in 2008 I’ve worked in critical care, as a Health Visitor and then over three years ago I decided to specialise in Infection Control. I’ve supported St Oswald’s Hospice by providing advice as and when needed over the past few years but it was always on a very informal basis. Covid-19 really highlighted the need to have a dedicated infection control role at the Hospice to ensure that it remained a safe place for patients, families, staff and volunteers and able to remain open. I’m excited to take on that role.

“I work 7 ½ hours each week for the Hospice and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The teams have all been so welcoming and supportive and we’re all working towards the same goal of maintaining patient safety. It’s a lovely environment to work in. I’m pleased to be able to offer advice, guidance, help develop policies and procedures and ensure good infection prevention and control standards are in place. My role is mainly advisory but as a hospice is a different setting to a hospital I’m learning from the St Oswald’s staff as well.”

Rebecca’s role was initially funded for twelve months and there are lots of things she is looking forward to getting involved with during that time. Rebecca continued:

“I’m really looking forward to working with the Hospice’s Infection Control Team to help them stay on top of the ever changing infection control guidance. Covid-19 has brought about lots of changes for clinical settings and it’s important we continue to strengthen our knowledge and policies. Which, will of course, also benefit the patients and families.”

Kath Clark, Matron and Infection Control Chair said:

“Infection control is, of course, a very high priority for Hospices, however none of our clinical team are specialists in this area and they have voiced concerns about the gaps in their knowledge. As I expressed it to my own team: “How do you know what you don’t know?” We’re lucky to have the support of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Infection Prevention and Control Team who helped to guide us through those first, very difficult weeks of the pandemic and I’m thrilled that we now have Rebecca supporting us. We are already seeing the benefits across the Hospice.

“Having a dedicated Infection Control Nurse gives us the best possible chance of keeping patients, visitors, volunteers and staff safe from infection and ensures our staff and volunteers are trained to the highest standards on Infection Control procedures. We also hope that patients who may feel a little anxious or nervous about coming to a hospice while Covid-19 is still very much around will gain confidence knowing that we have such a specialist role in place to keep them safe.”

Thank you for your wonderful support

Last month, we launched an appeal to raise £10,000 to fund Rebecca’s role for a further 12 months and we were overwhelmed by your support. Our initial target of £10,000 was quickly reached and exceeded, with your generous donations pouring in.

This week is International Infection Prevention Week, so there is no better time to announce that together, you have raised a massive £47,000 towards the prevention of infection at St Oswald’s Hospice. This will fund the role for longer than we dared hope and support the ongoing fight against infection, for the safety and peace of mind of our hospice families.

Thank you, so so much.