Marie Curie nurses have a sad but very rewarding job

Marie Curie at Grantham Hospital. Jo Smith, Sam Strudwick, Debbie Simpson. 177D
Marie Curie at Grantham Hospital. Jo Smith, Sam Strudwick, Debbie Simpson. 177D
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A dedicated and passionate team is on hand to help palliative care patients in their last year of life.

A small team of nurses make up the Marie Curie rapid response service (RRS), covering Lincolnshire and with a team operating from a room at Grantham Hospital.

Nurses provide an out-of-hours service for patients suffering from terminal conditions. This can be anything from cancer to motor neurone disease to organ failure.

Jo Smith, Sam Strudwick and Debbie Simpson form part of the team operating from Grantham Hospital. It is clear all three love what they do and have formed a close bond with one another and their colleagues.

Debbie, 58, said: “It’s a wonderful job but challenging. It’s a very rewarding job.”

Jo, 50, added: “I love my job. I love that when I go in the patients are really distressed, and when I go out they are sleeping peacefully.”

Support for each other is key in what can be a “very sad” job, said Debbie.

Commissioned by NHS Lincolnshire, the RRS works with other healthcare providers in the county, including St Barnabas Hospice and the Lincolnshire Community Health Service Trust.

An aim of the service, which launched four years ago, is to avoid patients having to go into hospital when they can be helped at home. Most calls out are for pain or symptom control.

Sam, 38, said: “It’s nice to have a job where you can make a difference to the last days of people’s lives. To be there for them.

“I wish this service had been in operation when my father died of cancer. There’s nothing like this in West Sussex.”

The Marie Curie RRS team helps patients referred to them by other healthcare providers.

Information: www.mariecurie.org.uk