Staff Spotlight

Janice Blackburn

Janice Blackburn, Counsellor

Janice Blackburn has worked as a counsellor at Barnsley Hospice for almost 12 years.
What are your main job responsibilities?
I provide counselling and support to patients, their families, friends and carers who find themselves struggling with a diagnosis and prognosis of a life limiting, progressive illness. I also provide bereavement counselling on an individual basis and facilitate our bereavement groups. I work to develop our service so it continues to move forward and meet the current needs of our patients and their families both here at the hospice and in the community.  

What does a typical day look like?
I would have a number of pre-booked outpatient appointments. I may be asked to see a patient or family member on our Inpatient Unit, I usually have meetings that could range from a 1-1 with my Line Manager, meeting up with other members of staff to discuss training, audits, policies, and clinical team meetings. Taking referrals/enquiries from the community health care professionals or family members wishing to self-refer for bereavement counselling and support. Supporting counselling students and other members of the team. 

What’s the best thing about working at the hospice?
Working closely with patients and their families, helping them make sense of their difficult feelings and thoughts when their world has been turned upside down. Being part of the bigger hospice team working together to help our patients and families both here at the hospice and in the Barnsley Community
 
How has the hospice changed over the years?
My observation is that the hospice has adapted and changed over the years. I feel it rises to the challenge that society puts on it (not always without a financial struggle) It has become more structured and professional which is necessary for the safety and well-being of the people we care for. 

What one thing would you like people to know about the hospice?
That although it is a place where patients will receive excellent end of life care, we provide so much more. We are an holistic organisation providing physical, psychological, social and spiritually support for patients and families living with a life limiting, progressive illness. 

What makes the hospice special?
We are a specialist palliative care team, providing the best care for our patients and families in the hospice and the wider community.  

What do you like doing outside of work?
I like to spend time with my family, playing with my grandchildren and catching up with friends. I like to entertain, I am an enthusiastic cook, my specialism probably being cheesecake. I love a night at the cinema or watching a good film on Netflix. 
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