Havens Hospices medical director retires after 35 years of service

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He is, without a doubt, a man who makes things happen. And he will be missed.

Medical Director Dr Grahame Tosh is retiring after years of dedication to Havens Hospices, which he helped establish.

Dr Tosh began working for the charity’s Fair Havens Adult Hospice in Southend in the 1980s before helping set up Little Havens Children’s Hospice in the 1990s.

Dr Tosh has spent time working in palliative care in the UK and abroad and returned to Fair Havens in 2020 as the charity moved into its new £ 17.2million hospice across from Priory Park.

Recalling his time at the hospices before he left, Dr Tosh said: “Back in the days of Fair Havens it was like a club.

“The pioneers of the hospice really helped get the association off the ground, and everyone who worked around them was very passionate – about the care, the association and the building.

“I worked at Fair Havens early on as a volunteer physician supporting Dr Michael Stuart who was the original Medical Director during my anesthesia training, before moving to the north of England to change specialty and finish my training as a palliative care consultant. Medication.

“I thought we would move to Yorkshire, but I was approached to come back to work as a consultant at Southend Hospital and Fair Havens.

“When we returned to Essex my wife – who is a nurse – and I decided to place children with complex health needs because we were comfortable with the medical aspect of their care. Two of the children we were looking after were being looked after by Hospices in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire which was a very long way to go.

“We discussed this with the team at Fair Havens who sparked the idea for Little Havens.”

After five years, Dr Tosh left the hospice to work in other settings, primarily Southend and Basildon hospitals where he remained for the next 15 years.

Dr Grahame Tosh is Medical Director of Havens Hospices

During this time, Grahame got involved with another charity called Cairdeas which provides palliative training, mentoring and support to countries in Africa and Asia. Grahame traveled to India to support local teams setting up services there.

In 2012, Grahame left Southend and spent almost three years working in a hospice in New Zealand.

Upon his return, he worked at Queens Hospital in Romford and later became medical director of Marie Curie with the intention of retiring after his post ended.

However, he was approached by Director of Care Ellie Miller during the charity’s outgoing consultant’s retirement celebration.

Read more >> Father battling lung cancer walks daughter down aisle through hospice

Dr Tosh said: “I had no intention of going back to Fair Havens and had to think long and hard about my return.

“It was an uncomfortable separation in 1997, but the organization has now changed beyond recognition. So I came back to help the charity set up in the new building.

The plan was to train nurses throughout February 2020 and open the following month.

On March 9, Fair Havens treated its first patient in the new building and two weeks later the country went into custody.

Care, however, continued at Fair Havens.

Dr Tosh said: “I think I helped Fair Havens maintain a sense of stability during this time, as I had experience with infections and viruses such as swine flu, SARS and MERS, So I knew the kind of planning we had to do. .

“While this pandemic has been incredibly difficult, we were able to cope at Fair Havens and actually exceeded expectations by caring for many more patients.

“The team responded brilliantly to our challenges throughout the pandemic. We hadn’t even had the chance to move into the new hospice, when the pace of change picked up, our patients had more complex conditions, some with and others without Covid. We have increased our ability to support our colleagues in the NHS to help relieve the pressure.

“It doesn’t depend on one person – everyone had a role to play in making this happen because not only did we take care of those who were seriously ill, but we also managed the illness, the isolation. and the mourning of our own staff.

“Overall, our goal has remained to provide very good care. ”

Care at Fair Havens will continue under the direction of its in-house medical team, supported by consultants from Southend Hospital.


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