Behind the scenes: Ellie Gosbee, nurse at St Nicholas Hospice

St Nicholas Hospice

As we roll on with our end of life care month, we continue to look at the amazing teams at our region’s hospices and charities, who help us deliver the best and right care to patients nearing the end of their lives.

Ellie Gosbee is a nurse at St. Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds. Here, Ellie talks to us about end of life care and what her job means to her.

Hi Ellie, tell us about you and your role

My role is a split one; I spend half my week on the hospice ward, managing patients admitted for symptom control or end of life care, with the rest of the time out in the community managing and trying to support patients at home when they are no longer suitable for active treatment or in their last days of life.  In the community there is no ‘typical day’.

How many other nurses work as part of your team?

Within the community team there are 13 nurses and six nursing assistants, and on the ward there are 16 nurses and 14 nursing assistants; all are a mixture of full and part time workers.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy having time to spend with people - from patients to their family and friends, and giving them the opportunity to talk and express themselves fully.

I also enjoy the variety. I work with many different diseases and varying personal circumstances, facing challenges and never knowing what I might face. I love the team I work with, they’re amazingly supportive and knowledgeable.

You work in a difficult field - what do you find most challenging?

The thing I find most challenging about my job is that it never feels as if you have done enough! Caring for people in the community means that after any visit there comes a time when you must leave, this is the hardest part. If families or patients are struggling to cope then people feel frightened or alone, no matter what other support is in place. It is always a struggle to leave.

It must be amazing to know you make a difference though?

It is. Recently I was lucky enough to help a lovely lady with multi-systems atrophy (MSA). She has a very supportive family and good carers but recently had not been able to go outside very often due to carers’ time restraints. Along with some colleagues we were able to take this lady, who is severely immobile, outside in her wheelchair and out to the village cafe. She expressed her gratitude and really enjoyed getting out for the afternoon in the sun.

We are sometimes able to offer these respite sits to patients and they are invaluable for both families, friends, carers and patients.

Hopefully you’ll have already seen some of the other articles, podcasts, blogs, and infographics we’ve shared to help support you around end of life care as part of our focus month, but if there’s something specific you’d like us to cover please leave us a comment below.

Published 23rd April, 2017

Leave a Comment
Name (required)
Email Address (required, never displayed)
Enter a message

(all comments are moderated - your submission will be posted on approval.)

This is a printable version of