Chris Macro – Inpatient Unit Patient Care Volunteer

(Picture: Chris Macro receiving her 25-year long service award from our patron Lady Monckton in 2017.)

Chris Macro retired from the Hospice having worked as a Healthcare Assistant since it was first opened by Princess Diana.  Now she’s back as a volunteer on our Inpatient Unit and we’re delighted to welcome her.

Chris Macro retired 2½ years ago having worked as a Healthcare Assistant in Magnolia Place since the Hospice was first opened by Princess Diana.

“When the coronavirus crisis began, I guessed that the staff at the Hospice would be run off their feet and wondered if they needed volunteers. I gave them a call and they were glad to hear from me because a lot of volunteers have had to step down from their duties because they are in the vulnerable category.

“I filled in an application and had the DBS check and then did an induction day to see how I got on. I did have a few wobbles and wondered if I was putting myself and my husband and family at risk - but after the first shift I knew I was doing the right thing.

“It wasn’t long before I found my feet and learnt where everything was and how to answer the phone. I suggested bringing in another volunteer I knew called Debbie and now the two of us do two three-hour shifts every week together - serving lunches and suppers to the patients and spending time chatting and having a bit of a giggle with them.

“I see my role as a gofer because the nurses and healthcare assistants work so hard doing all the drug rounds, the bathing and the washing, the paperwork and so many other jobs. It’s especially difficult for them now they have to keep putting on fresh masks, gloves and aprons which can be sweltering to wear.

“Debbie and I like to also look after the IPU team so we’ll make them hot drinks and make sure their kitchen is fully stocked. We try to encourage them to take a break and to use us while we’re there– so we’ll sort out the laundry when it comes in or answer the bell when a patient calls. The staff are all absolutely amazing and always so grateful. They call us ‘The Dream Team’!

“I’m so glad I became a Patient Care Volunteer. The Hospice has never been able to run without volunteers and that’s still true now.”

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