The Spirit of Hospice:
" It is in giving, that we receive ... "
The inspiration for Hospice Africa comes from the suffering patient and family. The centre of care is the love for patient and family and our concern to relieve suffering support with love and to be there with them as long as we are needed.
The care arises from our own acknowledgement that we too are in need of care. That caring is an essential part of God's plan for the world and that caring and being cared for are two sides of the human condition that can make us fully human.
Hospice believes that the time before death is a special time for the patient and family, when hurts can be healed, secrets can be shared and true love based on the recognition of the uniqueness of each person is acknowledged. This includes the patients' beliefs. Hospice respects religious beliefs and is prepared to pray with patients and families of all religions.
The Hospice team is made up of many members and often supported by volunteers. The spirit of Hospice is shown in the Latin word "hospitium", or hospitality. This means that we are a family, showing love for each other and for those who visit us whether patients or visitors interested in our work and in helping our patients and families.
Every member of the team is precious and can be expected to support and to be supported in times of trouble. This caring within the team overflows to those we care for.
The word bureaucracy is anathema in Hospice. Management makes decisions after consultation with all concerned. News of visitors and major decisions are disseminated every day after the morning prayer so that the whole Hospice family is involved and prepared. The Board of Trustees is kept informed and confirms major policy decisions.
Volunteers include our Board of Trustees and those who come to give practical help. Volunteers are requested to attend a course at Hospice suitable to their professionals training. This allows them to see in greater depth several aspects of Hospice and the new speciality of palliative medicine. Volunteers are also encouraged to go out with the team on home visits. This allows them to see the difference Hospice can make to a patient and family.
It is most important that the spirit of volunteerism is understood. Selfless giving of self, without expectation of monitory reward, defines the Hospice volunteer. Having said this, the rewards received from the patient and family and the experience of sharing this special time with them, bring rewards that are not measurable in this world.
The Patient and family:
The patient and family are our guests and have choices in their relationships with us including their treatments and which secrets they share. They are reassured that we will not abandon them whatever their choices.
The relationship with the patient is not authoritarian.
Confidentiality and ethical issues are a priority.
Attention to Detail:
Because our patients are in a vulnerable position, attention to detail and immediate response to needs is essential. There cannot be a laid back attitude from the team. Each member must be prepared to take immediate action when the comfort of the patient and/or family is at stake.
This attention to detail is echoed in the administration and support for the medical team. This means that families are welcomed and attended to immediately. People waiting for attention are offered a drink to make them feel at home. Payment of invoices and attention to details are acted on immediately so that the support service is not suspended or our work held up for want of this attention.
The Management Team:
The management team must be able to demonstrate their loyalty to the needs of the patient and family and to the work of Hospice Uganda. Each member must be of the highest integrity. Each is responsible, in their own way, for the continuance of the spirit of Hospice Uganda. Their dedication will be rooted in their individual spirituality and selflessness in giving without reserve.
Hospice recognises the unique contribution of each member of the team to this special work. However the individual development of the team members is encouraged as well as their usefulness to the team work.
Each member of Management will be aware that they must be an example to all and that decisions must be made without selfishness for themselves or immediate family, but with the good of all in need from our services, at heart.
The Board of Trustees:
There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every season under Heaven ...
A time to be born and a time to die.
Ecclesiastes 3.vs1 and 2
Trustees are primarily volunteers. They are invited to serve on the Board because of their love of Hospice work for patients and families and for their gifts, which they are prepared to share with Hospice in an administrative role.
They are important people to Hospice both legally, and as friends and advisors.
The Hospice family is not complete without them.
Ethos and Spirit of Constitution of Hospice Africa and Hospice Africa, Uganda.