Kati Scott

Clinical Team Lead, St Christopher’s Hospice, London

I have worked in palliative care at the hospice for the past 17 years, initially as a ward sister, then as a community CNS and am currently leading our  Single Point of Contact (SPoC) team. We are a small team comprised of nurses, social workers, administrators, a consultant and a physio. We provide a gateway to the hospice, often representing the first time an individual has had contact with a palliative care team. With a single phone call we aim to identify emotional distress, assess symptom burden, offer reassurance and provide explanation, all to ensure a patient’s and family’s needs are met by the most appropriate department of St Christopher’s.

The last few years have been particularly challenging, both in terms of devising our own response to covid but also navigating the impact covid has had on primary and social care and how we work effectively alongside this. Recruitment has also been difficult leaving us with long term vacancies; our team has essentially shrunk in size alongside an increased workload. The result of this is a team who work long hours to fill the gaps and ensure we continue to provide an exceptional service but as a result feel exhausted and powerless to challenge this work ethic.

I am hoping that being part of this inspire Improvement Fellowship will encourage me to be a more effective leader, enabling me to work collaboratively ‘with’ my team through the creation of a work environment which is healthier and renewed of energy and creativity. My hope it to identify the conditions necessary for our team to grow, flourish, and fulfil its potential, creating a cohesive team who hold a shared vision. If we can create a working culture which celebrates individuality, places equal emphasis on mental well-being as on physical health, allows for good humour and relationship building where everyone is valued, then hopefully this culture will naturally permeate into clinical practice. This should be the gold standard of palliative care whether you are delivering our service or in receipt of it.

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