“15 years ago, I remember turning the pages of a newspaper (yes, a black and white hand-held copy!) and saw a job advertisement for a Nurse. As I read it I became excited, but had to ask myself if I could picture myself working in a children’s hospice?”

Sharon, our Clinical Governance Facilitator shares a personal blog. Giving an insight into her early days at Demelza within the Nursing and Care Team and what her role within our Governance Team involves today:

Nursing at Demelza

“I remember the words quite clearly, the advertisement said ‘are you the type of person who would replace the last toilet roll?’ I thought it obviously takes a certain kind of person to work at Demelza!

“I decided to ‘test the water’ so I spoke to and contacted the HR Department and asked if I could join the Flexibank before finally deciding whether to apply or not. My first day on the Flexibank arrived and as I approached the hospice I was extremely nervous as I had only visited an adult hospice before, and didn’t know what to expect.

“What I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams was that the hospice would be set within beautiful grounds, with a massive Oast style building. There were amazing garden spaces, even free parking, cups of tea, cake and conversation - lots of it!

“As I walked through the hospice doors my fears soon resolved as I met so many friendly smiling faces of the care team. The team were getting ready for the arrival of Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and there was a massive marquee in the garden together with a cream tea; such a contrast to the NHS environment!

“The care areas were amazing too, and such a child friendly environment to be in. Ensuring that the children are cared for safely and in a child friendly way is paramount to working within the Care Team.”

Joining the Governance Team

“About four years ago I covered maternity leave for a member of the Governance Team with a view to having a better understanding of what the Governance Team do at Demelza. I decided to stay, and although I do miss working closely with the children and their families I also enjoy the challenges and multiple dimensions that this role takes.

“My day-to-day work consists of supporting Michelle, the Governance Lead Nurse and Jane, the Quality Team Leader, in the many workstreams, that usually involve care of the computer! No two days are the same.

“I work alongside the most amazing, inspiring, passionate and enthusiastic professionals where the Governance Team work extremely hard to ensure best practice standards are followed and improvements are continuously made.

“The most rewarding part of my job is enabling professional development to happen; watching novices turn into experts and knowing that they will be the future Nurses and Carers of Demelza. My motto is that “you learn something new every day” and I believe that you never stop learning.

“My job will always remain challenging as the children we care for will continue to have increasingly complex needs, and we need to ensure that we get this right for the children and young people in our care.

“I have seen many changes and developments at Demelza. I have cared for many babies, children and young people at various stages of their lives; be it newly diagnosed, requiring step-down care, end of life care and bereavement to those joining us for a respite break, so that the parents can have a well-deserved rest and recovery session.

“I feel so privileged to be part of Team Demelza and not a day goes by when I do not think about the parents and carers of the children who use our services that have to get up every day and put on a full suit of body armour to start their day!”.

Join our nursing team

We’re recruiting for Registered Nurses to join our team, with opportunities to work in our hospices in Kent and South East London or our community teams in Kent, South East London or East Sussex.