Physiotherapist Christine Ezediuno talks about her role at Saint Francis Hospice and her perspective on the importance of diversity.

There is no denying that Britain is a very diverse country and that’s something I’m very pleased about.

In terms of diversity and acceptance, we may still have a way to go, but we’ve come a long way in terms of acceptance.

At Saint Francis Hospice, I feel very welcome, accepted and valued that’s very important to me. I also feel I am listened to in my role as a professional and as an individual.

I genuinely feel that anyone who comes to hospice, whether to work, volunteer, as a patient, a family member or friend, they will be treated with respect.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Saint Francis Hospice is making a visible move towards inclusivitySaint Francis Hospice is making a visible move towards inclusivity (Image: Archant)

Having a diverse workforce can really help people under our care to feel more comfortable. I often find that BAME patients on the ward feel drawn towards me. Sometimes a patient will want to talk with me and it may not be related to their condition, it may be about a concern they have which is related to their culture or background and they think that I am more likely to understand where they are coming from.

The opposite can also be true as well. We are working hard to reach out to more people from the BAME community as we know many people still prefer to care for their own family members at home rather than come to the hospice. Once people come to the hospice and see that we are able to cater for their needs and everything that matters to them, they will be able to share their experience with their family and friends.

The best thing about my job is our patients and being able to make a difference to their lives. Last week we had a patient who just wanted to be able to sit up in bed and we were able to work together to achieve this. Often it can be helping a patient get out of bed and into a chair so they can go out into our gardens and enjoy the fresh air.

Saint Francis Hospice is not just for people who are dying, we are able to help a high percentage of people to get their symptoms and condition under control so they can go home to carry on living their lives.