A BRADFORD nurse is keen to help change the general perception on hospices.

Some people assume the centres can be a depressing space as patients depend on end-of-life care - but throughout her seven years at Bradford’s Marie Curie Hospice, Katie Northin has worked in a fun and warm environment.

In November, the 12-bed hospice hosted a recruitment day after it was forced to temporarily pause admissions to its in-patient unit in November.

Katie feels the service Marie Curie provides is vital and is encouraging others to join the team on Maudsley Street.

“It’s a lovely place to work at,” she said.

“People have these preconceived ideas of hospices being miserable and a place for people to die. It’s the opposite, it’s a happy place for people to use.

“An example (of the work we do) is a man was not fit enough for radiotherapy as he was in a lot of pain and had other symptoms. We built him back up and then he was able to have the radiotherapy.

“Patients see staff as family and they still continue to visit after they have left.

“The job is so rewarding with people grateful of the care we provide. We are giving people a good death.”

Katie added: “We didn’t want the quality of the staff to be affected.

“It is important for us to get the message across that hospices are not all doom and gloom.

“I would definitely recommend the role. It’s a lovely environment and a good learning opportunity.”

When the pandemic first hit, Katie was pregnant so it didn’t immediately impact her.

However, she did start seeing changes following a return to work.

Katie said: “I was put on information support which is like a helpline for people to ring. Out-patients has carried on during Covid and been a lifeline for many.

“It was different when I got back in January with all the new policies. You had to support people in a different way.

“The biggest thing is we could no longer hug patients as that physical element was removed. Instead we had to improve our body language, getting our point across that way.”

In this past festive season, the team went all out.

“Christmas is a lovely time in the hospice.

“Sometimes we even bring it forward for dying patients. Throughout December we have had several dinners and choirs performing.”