New nurse urges others to help Sobell

More help please: Sobell House nurse Elizabeth Mortimore has never looked back since retraining as a nurse

An Oxford hospice has launched a recruitment drive after staff shortages forced it to close a third of its beds.

Sobell House says it is losing the battle with the demands of an ageing population and has closed six of its 18 beds due to a lack of nurses to look after patients.

The Headington hospice is in the middle of a major service expansion to meet the needs of its users – but it has not escaped the recruitment crisis across the health sector.

Ward sister Rochelle Lay said the immediate goal is to reopen the beds. 

Longer term, she added: “With an ageing population, there are increasingly more people who will benefit from palliative care – we need to ensure there is a sufficient number of specialist staff who can provide that level of complex care.”

Hospice nurses look after patients in the day centre, on the ward, in home and in hospitals.

Nurse Elizabeth Mortimore, who joined Sobell in January following a career change from graphic design, urged more nurses to apply for positions at Sobell.

The 30-year-old, who looks after four patients each shift, said: “My office job didn’t meet my need to care for people, so I retrained as a nurse and I have never looked back. The care delivered at Sobell House is unified by excellence.

“You are surrounded by people who are all passionate about the same thing – giving the best quality of care to patients approaching the end of their lives.”

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