New Chapter and new CEO

17th August, 2023

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“I’m So Proud of Our Hospice”

“Guernsey is unique. It’s fair to say that I took a while to settle here but I am now a fully paid-up member of the Guernsey fan club. This will always be our home as we have had such a great time here. It’s been the most wonderful experience.”

Les Bourgs Hospice Director Jo Boyd will be retiring in December from the post she has held since September 2006. She had previously been running three hospices in East Kent before arriving to lead the major redevelopment of the new Les Bourgs facilities at Andrew Mitchell House.

“I came because the hospice was looking for someone with a nursing background but who could help project manage the new build. I have been a nurse since I was 17 but found quite quickly that Guernsey was very different from Kent as there are all the unique challenges of living on a small island. This makes you more self-reliant.

“This has undoubtedly been the best time of my career. Arriving to play my part in the new build 17 years ago and seeing the wonderful operation we have now is extremely fulfilling. It’s a real cherry on the top of my career. I’m incredibly proud of the team we have who continue to give everything for the cause.”

Jo says the island community has taken Les Bourgs Hospice to its heart:

“The hospice has been here for over 30 years and is loved by islanders. This brings with it a genuine responsibility for us to keep standards extremely high and respond to what the public wants. The people of the Bailiwick have been very loyal and supportive of us and the facilities that we have.

“I heard a wonderful compliment in a taxi one day. The driver referred to ‘our hospice’ which was such a lovely thing to say. It’s true as it really does belong to islanders.”

Les Bourgs Hospice gets no financial support from the States of Guernsey. Jo says she knows that there is tremendous pressure on their limited resources at this time:

“We also value our independence and thanks to the people of Guernsey we can stand on our own two feet. That is important to us but there could be ways we could work together with the States such as the mutual funding of staff. We shall see.”

Jo explains that fundraising is always a huge challenge for her team and says they are aware that they are always asking the same people for money. In an economic crisis people have less to give so it’s a real challenge to raise the required £1.75m each year to cover the hospice’s running costs.

“I have no doubt that islanders will do the best they possibly can, but fundraising is getting harder. We have staff, volunteers and supporters with great commitment, imagination and enthusiasm who don’t think twice about going the extra mile and we’re always looking for new ways to inspire the public to get involved in events that we believe are inclusive.”

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer will be Rob Jones who will start in mid-October when a handover takes place with Jo stepping away at the end of the year.

“It will be hard for me to say goodbye, but it’s definitely the right decision and I know it will be in safe hands. I think I have done all I can do here and it’s great to have people coming in with fresh ideas to do what needs to be done.

“The core of the work that we do is through our In-Patient Unit and the care that we offer to adults with life-limiting conditions, either at end of life or in the provision of respite or pain management support. We have a very committed nurse workforce there and that won’t change. We are looking to recruit more nurses and are holding a series of open days so anyone who may be interested can find out more about working with us.

“My successor is someone who can run a very successful operation and give the nurses the support and resources they need to continue to offer the highest levels of care. That is completely safe!”

Jo says the hospice has had to face real challenges during her tenure such as continuing to offer high levels of care throughout the pandemic. This stretched their resilience but reinforced what a great team they have. They also had to move off-site while essential building work was completed, but Jo believes that this benefitted the team as they had to learn to develop innovative ways of working.

So, after December how will Jo Boyd be spending her time?

“Well, I’m looking forward to being bored, something I’ve never experienced. We also want to travel, and I want to do more cooking and reading, and I definitely want to get a dog so I’m sure that will involve plenty of walking. I won’t let the grass grow under my feet that is for sure.

“But it’s time to move on and I will leave knowing I have done the best I can and also very proud of what I am handing over.”

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