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Birmingham Hospice Archive: Jayne’s 30 year passion for end of life care

20 December 2023
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I have loved every part of my career in hospice work and I will always be grateful for the opportunities it has given me.”

Jayne Fidgeon joined the hospice as a young nurse in 1987. 36 years later, her passion for supporting people at the end of life remains at the forefront of her career.

Jayne Fidgeon pictured centre as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in the 90s.

Now a Clinical Supervisor, Jayne supports and develops staff members both clinical and non-clinical across the hospice.

“I am incredibly grateful to the hospice; all the experiences have developed me into who I am today,” she said. “I just love the history of the organisation and how it has evolved into the organisation it is today; I feel so proud to be part of it.

“The hospice has always been family and patient centred. It has a spirit or an essence; I can’t quite describe it.

“All the staff do such amazing work here, those that are patient facing, administrators, catering, housekeeping, retail colleagues, drivers and volunteers – they are all important cogs in the smooth running of the hospice. The staff don’t realise how amazing they are, but we should be shouting about it.”

Jayne began her hospice career as a Staff Nurse. She realised that the hospital environment wasn’t for her, and early into her career she was intrigued by how patients and their families were cared for, both physically and psychologically, when their lives were limited. Later, she was offered a role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, working in the community with patients in their own homes.

“At the time, hospices were not talked about and people wouldn’t say the word ‘cancer’,” Jayne explained. “They would whisper behind their hand ‘the big C’ or say that I worked at ‘that place where everyone dies’. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Hospices are full of life, empowering people and their families to make every moment matter. Hospices aren’t just buildings, they are a community, there is so much work that takes place outside of the bricks and mortar. We have a wealth of experienced health professions now and are a real hub of specialist knowledge.”

At John Taylor Hospice in 2010 (Jayne, far left).

After many years working, Jayne pursued a different side of palliative care that she had always been curious about – the emotional and psychological impact for patients, families and staff. Jayne trained as a Counsellor and later as a Clinical Supervisor.

“Helping people navigate their way through their grief, for some seeing them grow through their grief, is so rewarding,” said Jayne. “Of course there are tricky times but there are so many special moments too. It’s a massive privilege that people at their most vulnerable allow you in and trust you.”

In 2019, the hospice set up a Clinical Supervision service to support hospice staff. Clinical supervision is a formal process of support, reflection, learning and development.

“Thank you for allowing me to be part of the journey Birmingham Hospice,” added Jayne. “I’m truly grateful for the staff I have worked with and people I have met along the way. You have been my biggest tutor. To all the families and patients I have met, you are my inspiration. Thank you to my family for all their support over the years and wonderful colleagues who pushed and encouraged me along the way.”