Meet Ayshea – one of our brilliant Health Care Assistants. Ayshea joined the team initially as a Volunteer Ward Receptionist after her mother received care at Katharine House back in 2005. Then in 2016, she applied for a full-time Health Care Assistant role in our inpatient unit (IPU) – and she’s never looked back! We caught up with Ayshea to find out a bit more about her role, plus a few other quick-fire questions.

  • Name: Ayshea Brockbank
  • Job title: Health Care Assistant
  • Joined the team: 2016 (but worked as a volunteer ward receptionist from 2011) 

How did you get into your role and come to work in IPU?

My mum died at Katharine House in January 2006. Before that I’d never been in a hospice and didn’t really know much about them. But following her death I wanted to volunteer in the ward.

When I first started volunteering, I was working in a nursery, but when a Healthcare Assistant role came up, I applied – and I’ve never looked back. I absolutely love my job here, and I think having first experienced Katharine House as a family member, I know how people are feeling and the difference the hospice can make.

What’s a typical day like?

We work 12.5-hour shifts, and they always start with a handover to make sure everyone is up to speed. You never really know what you are going to come into but there are things that will happen each day at certain times, such as offering patients a bath and supporting with mealtimes. We’ll also spend time chatting with patients and family members and helping them with anything they need.

What do you wish people knew about hospice care?

When people hear the word ‘hospice’ they immediately think about dying. And patients are often frightened about coming into the hospice because of that. But we focus on helping patients live every moment until the end of their life – whether that’s through symptom control so patients can go home again or helping patients to fulfil their wishes where we can.

How does it feel to work in the IPU?

I really love my job. It’s so rewarding and incredibly worthwhile – especially when you read some of the comments and cards that we receive from patients and families. We get on so well as a team, and that’s very important because there are days that are tough, and you need to have a supportive group of people around you.

And now for some quick-fire questions ...

How would you sum up your role in one sentence?

Giving the very best care I can to patients and families.

What's your highlight since joining Katharine House Hospice?

I don’t have one particular highlight: I just absolutely love being part of such a fantastic and supportive team.

What makes Katharine House so special?

I think it’s the time and level of care that we give to our patients and families. And people often comment on how peaceful and quiet it is and how beautiful the setting is. 

What's your proudest moment?

Marrying my husband and having our daughter. I know that’s two, but how could I choose between those?

What's your favourite way to unwind?

I love to read. I usually get through a book a week. I even started a book swap at work so that I can share the books I’ve read with others and find some new ones!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Australia! I’ve been twice before, but we’ve got family and friends there, so I’d love to go back one day. And it has special memories as my husband proposed there 25 years ago.

What's your favourite dessert?

I’m not really a dessert person. I would always choose starters over dessert, although I do have warm chocolate fudge cake with cream on Christmas Day.

What's your all-time favourite song?

'The Greatest Love of All' by Whitney Houston. It was our first dance on our wedding day and also one of the songs played at my mum’s funeral, so it means a lot to me.

What's your favourite season?

It has to be the summer. I love the long evenings and spending time outside.

Katharine House Hospice