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St Nicholas Hospice Care in Bury St Edmunds highlights nurse’s story to raise awareness of roles needed as demand for hospice care grows





A hospice in Bury St Edmunds has spotlighted one of its senior nurses during a national week to raise awareness of the roles needed as the demand for hospice care grows.

St Nicholas Hospice Care supports thousands of people every year. But the need for hospice care is growing, so during Hospice Care Week, which runs from October 9 to October 15, it is highlighting the different roles needed to ensure those who face dying, death and grief receive the help they need.

Natasha Smith has worked at St Nicholas Hospice Care for the past 15 years, starting as a registered nurse on the Sylvan Ward and then becoming the Sylvan Ward Sister.

St Nicholas Hospice Care has spotlighted a senior nurse’s story during Hospice Care Week to raise awareness of the different roles. Picture St Nicholas Hospice Care
St Nicholas Hospice Care has spotlighted a senior nurse’s story during Hospice Care Week to raise awareness of the different roles. Picture St Nicholas Hospice Care

Alongside her colleagues, Natasha has cared for many people and supported their loved ones over the years.

Natasha said: “It’s a huge privilege to be allowed to be a part of someone’s end-of-life care.

“We try to consider every patient as an individual, taking time to offer anything that can bring comfort.

“Some of my most treasured memories have been playing rock music to a dying patient, giving a patient their favourite whisky on a sponge for taste, supporting a child to cuddle their parent in bed for the last time, and holding the hand of patients who may not have families nearby.

The death of Natasha’s grandmother at the hospice was something which she said profoundly affected her as a nurse as it made her realise first-hand how much every interaction with those who are dying and their loved ones mattered.

“The kindness shown by everyone in the building was immeasurable,” she added.

“We felt safe at the hospice because we knew that when my grandmother experienced symptoms of distress, these would be treated.

“Before my grandmother’s time at the hospice and my experience on the other side, I never fully appreciated that these things make the difference. These are what I want for anyone who finds themselves in my situation.

“The hospice allowed my grandmother to die peacefully with her family around her being her family and not needing to be anything more than that. This is something I will be forever grateful for.”

For more information about the different roles, visit the St Nicholas Hospice Care website.