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Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington launches urgent recruitment campaign for nurses

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LYMINGTON’s Oakhaven Hospice has launched an urgent campaign to recruit more nurses so it can keep open beds.

Community and night nurses are a priority for the hospice in Lower Pennington Lane but extra nurses who can help cover both day and night shifts are also being sought, as well as those in community and in-patient teams.

The charity needs the extra workers to retain the 14 beds it offered during lockdown, including four to support the NHS.

More nurses at Oakhaven are needed to keep bed capacity
More nurses at Oakhaven are needed to keep bed capacity

The facility recently made a permanent increase from eight beds to 10, but now wants to increase its supply further.

Lucy Smith, director of patient services, said: “More people in our New Forest catchment area need our help and we are recruiting additional nursing staff to make sure we can be there for patients, their families and their carers when they need us most.

“We have now permanently increased our number of beds from eight to 10. This latest recruitment drive will enable us to offer up to four more beds as we did during lockdown to support the NHS, bringing the total to 14.”

She added: “For the first time, we are also introducing the concept of ‘virtual beds’. This means that the extra capacity we are creating includes additional rooms within the hospice, but it can also be care that we provide in people’s own homes or elsewhere.

“The overriding aim is to provide the best quality of care for patients in the best place for them while also reducing pressure on hospital beds.”

More than 80% of Oakhaven’s funding must be raised by the hospice for the services to continue, such as through donations, gifts in wills and the social enterprise company Oakhaven Care.

The hospice, which serves most of the New Forest, including Totton and the Waterside, currently employs over 20 nurses along with doctors and other specialist staff.

It also supports patients and their families in their own homes and provides a range of wellbeing and complementary therapy support.

The recruitment campaign will include social media appeals and billboards in Hampshire and Dorset as well as traditional recruitment advertising. Posters and messages used in the campaign are inspired by the experiences of current nurses at the hospice.

Volunteers are also being sought to aid relaxation through complementary therapies including reflexology, aromatherapy, Reiki and hand and foot massage.

Those who would like more information can attend an open day at the Coates Centre at Oakhaven on 29th September from 9.30am-1.30pm.

The event will include the chance to talk to staff about volunteering and the important role of complementary therapy in Oakhaven’s work.

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