Latest news

Rowcroft’s Chronic Oedema team celebrates 125 years of service

27 February 2015

Image (L-R): Racheal Calland, Samantha Jones, Gill Harcombe, Janet Trezise and Wendy Mason

Five members of clinical staff at Rowcroft Hospice are celebrating achieving a combined 125 years of service at the hospice.

Racheal Calland, Samantha Jones, Gill Harcombe, Janet Trezise and Wendy Mason, all work in the hospice’s Chronic Oedema team and have been presented with special decanters to thank them each for their 25 years of service.

The five joined the hospice in 1989, the year that brought us the World Wide Web and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Sam Jones, Chronic Oedema Therapist, said: “It’s amazing really; I never imagined when we started that we’d all still be here after 25 years.

“I think we stayed because it’s such a lovely place to work. We’re able to provide the level of care we want and can go the extra mile, we can all remember patients from early in our career whose stories have stuck with us.”

All five ladies started work on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit and now work as part of a specialist team providing services for patients with Chronic Oedema, a medical term for swelling which has been present for more than three months.  It can be the result of treatments such as surgery or radiotherapy, but there are other causes.

Although incurable, Chronic Oedema can be improved with care and specialist treatment; Rowcroft Hospice is currently the only organisation to provide this service in South Devon.

Giles Charnaud, Chief Executive at Rowcroft Hospice, said: “The Chronic Oedema team are a terrific example of the dedication of staff and volunteers at Rowcroft. To celebrate 25 years of service with them has been a great privilege.

“Without the team many of these patients’ conditions would deteriorate and they would need more frequent medical attention. The team do remarkable work with their patients, managing what can be a very debilitating condition.”

Rachael Calland, Chronic Oedema Therapist, added: “It’s been a real privilege to work for Rowcroft, everybody is here for the patients, and the patients themselves are lovely and often so humbling.”

As well as providing support for thousands of patients over the last 25 years, in their own time the group has also had a total of ten children, and one dog.

Gill Dennison, Chronic Oedema Assistant, said: “When we started at Rowcroft we used to wear paper hats! The hospice has moved with the times and is much busier now, something that reflects the change in the wider healthcare sector.

“The supportive essence of Rowcroft has stayed familiar through all the changes though, both in our lives and at the hospice.”

The week of March 2 – 6 is Lymphoedema Awareness Week, run by the British Lymphology Society. The campaign aims to raise awareness of both Lymphoedema and Chronic Oedema, which affect more than 200,000 people across the UK. Visit the Lymphoedema Awareness Week Facebook page to find out more.

Rowcroft's Brixham shop adopts new £3, £2, £1 sales model
Take on the adventure of a lifetime for Rowcroft Hospice
Rowcroft's dare devil abseil is back for 2018 - and 50ft higher!
Rowcroft launches specialist heart failure service for patients