Delivering nurse-led end of life care

Catherine Malia combines the ethos of holistic care with her clinical and leadership roles and is heading up a pilot project to deliver nurse-led end of life care

Having become the first nurse consultant at a specialist palliative care hospice, Catherine Malia combines the ethos of holistic care with her clinical and leadership roles and is heading up a pilot project to deliver nurse-led end of life care.

Here she talks to Clare Lomas about the qualities good palliative care nurses need and the improvements she would like to see in the NHS

Abstract

If Catherine Malia had not become a nurse, she would like to have been a florist. As nurse consultant at St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, her flower arranging skills have come in handy on more than one occasion.

‘It is not uncommon for patients to decide to get married, and weddings are often arranged at short notice due to patients’ frail conditions,’ she says. ‘We pull out all the stops to make the day special, and my contribution has been a bridal bouquet of flowers from our beautiful hospice garden.’

Ms Malia has worked at St Gemma’s for 16 years, progressing from staff nurse to team leader to advanced nurse practitioner. In August, she became the hospice’s first nurse consultant.

‘I love the palliative care ethos of holistic care, which embraces what is important to individual patients and their families and allows time to explore and address these needs,’ she says. ‘We recently organised the safe transfer of a patient who wanted to end his days in his native Scotland, and arranged district nursing and palliative care support for another patient to enjoy a family holiday at Center Parcs.'

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'The caring touch' in Nursing Older People: volume 27, issue 9

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