First-of-a-kind 'wish coordinators' set to help hospice patients

A Wolverhampton-based palliative care charity has started a new project to provide patients and families with a high quality of life.

Compton's wish coordinators Jenny Spencer and Karen Evans
Compton's wish coordinators Jenny Spencer and Karen Evans

Compton Care has recruited two "wish coordinators", thought to be the first of their kind in England, who will focus on supporting adults and their families with incurable conditions to live their best quality life, while receiving palliative or end of life care.

Karen Evans and Jenny Spencer, both experienced NHS employees, will help create special memories and moments of joy for patients and their families who are in the care of Compton.

Karen Evans has over 30 years of NHS experience, including programme management, as a community services manager and clinical commissioning.

She worked at Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group for nine years, in a variety of roles including transformation lead for cancer and end of life care services, and it was here that she first developed a working relationship with Compton Care.

Karen, from Coven, said: “I have always had a passion for improving end of life care. Compton Care’s passion to improve the quality of life for people living with incurable conditions is clear, alongside their commitment to working collaboratively with health and social care partners

"I consider it an absolute privilege to be a part of this wonderful team in this unique role, serving our local population, and I’m really looking forward to being able to make a real difference in the lives of some of the people we work with.”

Jenny Spencer is a registered adult nurse, with several years of experience in acute hospital settings before moving on to higher education to teach Adult Branch pre-registration student nurses.

Alongside this position, she volunteered at Compton Care one evening a week while also volunteering in its charity shops, helping to raise funds for the palliative and end of life care charity, which provides its services free of charge to the local communities it supports.

Speaking of her move to Compton Care, she said: “As soon as I saw the wish coordinator role advertised with Compton Care, I thought what a wonderful opportunity it would be to be able to make a difference to patients and their families.

“Compton Care offers a wide range of services to people living with life-limiting conditions, from clinical services and expertise to emotional, practical and spiritual support provided by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.

"I am so very privileged and proud to be working alongside them and to be able to do that now.”

One of the first wishes Karen made come true was organising a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed tea party for a patient, who was living with a rare form of cancer.

The patient’s children adored Sonic, so Karen arranged for the family to spend some quality time together in a relaxed, fun environment with great food and a visit from Sonic himself.

Find out more about how Compton Care is helping patients living with incurable conditions and support their loved ones at comptoncare.org.uk

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