Janet and Jo: three decades of dedication to LOROS
10th January 2019
Janet Manuel, 52 from Syston, and Jo Potts, 53 from Blaby, are two of LOROS’s longest serving employees, having worked at the Hospice, and been best friends, for thirty years.
“We started work within a few weeks of one another on the ward at LOROS and quickly became firm friends”, says Janet. “Now I manage the Day Therapy and Outpatients departments and work with Jo who is a registered nurse in Day Therapy, to help our patients get the support they need – from wellbeing workshops to craft activities.”
Janet and Jo’s team work has been at the heart of LOROS for thirty years. More recently they’ve brought their partnership to the Day Therapy service, a one stop shop for patients who can access a variety of specialist teams but also meet friends and have fun.
Day Therapy has recently moved in to brand new facilities to allow an extra 250 patients to access the very best end of life care.
Their partnership, as well as the new space, means patients’ services like intravenous infusions can be slotted in when they visit Day Therapy. “We can manage the time effectively and ensure we get the services fitted in around the fun stuff that patients enjoy. It’s more time effective for the patient and more efficient for the Hospice”, says Jo.
“Jo and I work really well as a team”, adds Janet. “We are constantly exchanging ideas, planning possible new activities, using our creativity. Together we’ve introduced well-being therapies and have got plans for much more.”
Jo said, “When we’re at work we’re always really busy, but when we’re out as friends we have time to reflect - that’s when we get our ideas for the next project to work on.”
Their work has helped establish wellbeing sessions for patients. “Our sessions provide coping strategies to help people manage difficult symptoms such as stress or anxiety. Many patients live on their own and need the reassurance that attending Day Therapy gives them”, says Janet.
But the focus of Day Therapy is also firmly on enjoyment, says Jo. “Our patients leave for the day smiling because they feel alive. If they used to love bingo but no longer can play because they’re housebound and need us to collect them in a wheelchair, then they can play here. They re-gain some of themselves.”
After thirty years at LOROS, do they still have more to give? Absolutely, they both respond. “For me, I have a real passion for good end of life care. That’s why I’ve stayed this long and I’ve still got loads to offer,” says Janet.
Jo says, “I came to work at LOROS after I saw a patient die on a hospital ward, alone. I knew things should be better than that. In Day Therapy our patients’ attitude is ‘I’m alive and I’m busy living my life’. We help them to do that for as long as possible.”