Peterborough woman celebrates three decades of dedicated service at Sue Ryder hospice
May 9, 2022
A 56 year old woman from Peterborough has reached a significant career milestone which she says is a ‘huge privilege’, providing care to countless people and their families for 30 years at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
Corinne Mackey joined Sue Ryder at the age of 27 as a Nursing Assistant, in what was her second job after leaving school, and has stayed with the charity ever since delivering expert and compassionate care.
As she celebrates her caring career milestone, Corinne shares how special it is to be part of the team at the hospice.
“Doing this job is such a privilege. We are very lucky to have the time to support our patients and their relatives here at Sue Ryder. We can go that bit further to be there for them and it leaves you with huge job satisfaction.
“We go home and we know we have done the best we can do and although we know we can’t change the situation for people in our care, we can make the moments they spend here the best they can be.
“My family are proud of what I do, but sometimes when I tell people what I do they say ‘I don’t know how you do it’ but fact is it is such a good feeling to do this job.”
And while Corinne has been there for countless patients and families, she says Sue Ryder and her colleagues have been there for her too.
“It is hard to put a number on how many people I have helped care for, but there are times when I am out and about and people whose loved ones I have cared for will recognise me from way back when I first started. They say ‘you’re not still at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice are you?’ and they can’t believe I am still here!
“I have received so much support here at Sue Ryder over the years. You couldn’t do this job without it really. My colleagues and the management teams have always been really supportive. They really care for your wellbeing.”
During her time at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, Corinne says she has seen a number of changes and developments in palliative care.
“A lot has changed since I first started working at the hospice. When I first came here 30 years ago the care we gave was very much end of life. At that time we didn’t give the active treatment we provide now, including blood transfusions and IV drugs and as a result our roles and skills have changed and developed.
“We also see more patients now with many people coming in for symptom control to be discharged home again once they are made more comfortable.
“One thing has stayed the same though and that is the essence of the very compassionate care we aim to give.”
As she celebrates the significant milestone, Corinne is keen to give a glimpse into what it is like to work in palliative care.
“I wish more people realised that people don’t come into a hospice to die. When people say this to me I tell them this is really not the case. A huge part of our work now is to support patients in getting their symptoms under control so they can go home again.
“Over the time I have worked in palliative care the message has really started to get out that we help people feel more comfortable so they can keep on living. But the more people who hear this the better.”
“So many people say to me it must be really sad to do what you do and I say it can be really sad, but it is also really rewarding. We can make a huge difference to our patients and we can make a huge difference to their family too. We help people become mothers, wives, daughters, sons, fathers, husbands, partners, siblings or grandchildren again when they might have been carers for some time and it is so rewarding to help make that possible.”
Corinne hopes that by sharing her experience she can encourage other people to pursue a career in palliative care with the charity.
“This role is very unique. We look after people with a life limiting condition – whatever condition that might be – and we look after physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. What we do is so holistic. And our care extends to patient’s families as well. It is the whole package.
“I have never regretted making the move to work in palliative care with Sue Ryder – not for one minute. We go above and beyond for our patients and their families and I just love being able to make a difference.
“I would absolutely recommend palliative care as a career. It has lasted me 30 years so far so it must be good!”
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice provides expert and compassionate palliative care and bereavement support to people living in Peterborough and surrounding communities and villages and it currently has a number of existing job opportunities to join its team including
Registered Nurse on its Inpatient Unit and Senior Nurse and Senior Nursing Assistant in its Hospice at Home team.