Funmi Shitta-Bey is our Physiotherapist and Day Therapy Lead at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire. She joined our charity in March 2019 after 20 years of working with both the NHS and other charities, caring for people within different specialities but with a special interest in long-term complex neurological conditions.
In this blog post, Funmi tells us more about her role and the difference it makes to people needing her expert and compassionate rehabilitative palliative care.
When someone is living with a life-limiting condition, they want to be able to continue doing the things they have always done: going to the shops, going on holidays, going to the garden centre or going to see the latest film at the cinema. However, their condition may mean they have symptoms that make this more challenging.
Our patients are people like us – people like you and me. They still want to be able to live a normal life; be independent with the things they want to do, and at Sue Ryder St John’s we do everything we can to make this happen.”
"The simplest of things can make the biggest difference"
Sometimes it is the simplest of things which make the biggest difference.
One patient in our inpatient unit wanted to get up and about after being in bed for 11 weeks. After our assessment and intervention, we were able to facilitate getting them out of bed to sit in a wheelchair and eat a meal by the window. This may seem small for you and I but it made a huge difference to this patient and their wellbeing.”
I lead the Day Therapy unit and team.
Our team consists of a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and complementary therapists. We offer a holistic patient-centred service through the provision of a nine-week rolling programme that gives them the necessary education, skills and advice to manage symptoms and promote wellbeing. Our patients also have access to the family support services and lymphoedema services within the hospice.
"Our ethos is to empower people to have a good quality of life"
Patients who come into our care have a life-limiting diagnosis, but within that phrase ‘end of life’ there is still a lot that people want to achieve and can achieve through empowerment, a holistic management plan and focusing on improving quality of life. We want to see this happen for our patients.
We help people live their lives to the full. There is still life to be lived and we do all we can to make sure it’s fulfilling.
It can be as simple as helping someone to get up and get out of bed; as simple as getting a wheelchair so that, when they are discharged back home, they can sit up at the table to have a meal rather than eat in bed.
This gives a sense of wellbeing and it helps people remain engaged in their own care and their own life.
"I am proud to be part of the Sue Ryder team"
I see our role as a maintenance role – we help people maintain their independence for as long as they can.
Ultimately the patient is at the centre of everything we do: our care is about them. The best feedback we have is feedback from patients and their carers themselves.
I am enjoying being part of Sue Ryder and working with so many multidisciplinary staff to deliver such patient-centred care. We offer what patients want and I am proud to be part of the team that helps deliver that.
Find out more about the care services offered at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice
Physiotherapist and Day Therapy Lead
Funmi works at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire where she "helps people continue to do the things they want to do". She joined Sue Ryder in March 2019 and has a special interest in long-term complex neurological conditions.