Volunteers and staff are first visitors to stay overnight in new bedrooms at Poole hospice

Bournemouth Echo: TEST RUN: Lewis-Manning volunteers feeling tired following their overnight stay TEST RUN: Lewis-Manning volunteers feeling tired following their overnight stay

VOLUNTEERS and staff have become the first visitors to stay overnight in the new bedrooms at a Poole hospice.

Fifteen supporters, members of staff and volunteers at Lewis-Manning Hospice packed their bags to take part in the bed-testing event, ahead of the first in-patient rooms being opened in early 2014.

Each of the bedrooms will offer respite, rehabilitation and end of life care to people with cancer and other life-limiting conditions who come to the hospice.

The event was held ahead of Lewis-Manning’s recruitment drive, which will begin in January 2014 for clinical and non-clinical roles including nurses, health care assistants, catering staff, cleaning roles and retail manager jobs.

The hospice will also be looking for volunteers for a number of roles including drivers, fundraisers, retail support, caring support and hospitality support.

Elizabeth Purcell, chief executive of Lewis-Manning, said: “The opening of the rooms will also open up opportunities to form a new team.”

She added: “So many health care professionals have told us that they would like to have more time with patients and, at Lewis Manning, we are here to give just that: ‘Time to care’.”

Sandra Cox, finance and operations manager, said that, before the bedrooms received first external guests and patients, it was essential that they tested the facilities first to ensure everything is as they wish.

She said: “This meant a disturbed night’s sleep for everyone, with a bit of role-playing as we wanted to check all sorts of scenarios and evaluate everything. This includes everything from the comfort of the rooms, such as bed positions, temperature, light and noise, to unexpected and uninvited intruders and, of course, an emergency evacuation.

“Everyone at the hospice is excited about the new rooms opening.

“With the overwhelming support of the community, we’ve all been very determined and working very hard to make it happen.”

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