She joined North London Hospice when it was ‘just a baby’ in 1993 and was a founding member of our IPU team, but after 22 years with the organisation, we bid a fond farewell to Giselle Martin-Dominguez today (Friday).
Our Assistant Director of Quality’s career with NLH has developed as the hospice has expanded and over the years she has been part of many teams – her greatest love being in community care as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and community service lead. “I learnt to be adaptable to meet patients and their families’ needs on their own terms in their homes.”
In Giselle’s early days on the in-patient unit, her school teacher of seven years, who she was extremely close to, developed terminal cancer and was deteriorating rapidly. “I cared for her throughout several difficult nights and it formed a lasting memory of how people can adapt to cope when faced with suffering and their imminent death.”
For Giselle, the organisation has become more than an employer; she’s had three uncles cared for by North London Hospice, including her Polish uncle who was in the IPU over Christmas a couple of years ago. She recalls fondly how “he loved Christmas and being able to celebrate his last Christmas as a family was extremely special. I’ll never forget the sensitivity of my friends and colleagues – they knew just what to do in a really strange and trying circumstance”.
In many ways, Giselle’s professional development over time mirrors that of the hospice. She was Acting Nursing Director when the building development of the Health and Wellbeing Centre site in Enfield was approved and was also involved in setting up the original hospice-at-home service, a precursor to the current Palliative Care Support Service.
She’s also propelled the charity into the national spotlight, particularly through her links with the Royal College of Nursing, with whom she developed UK-wide resources on nutrition and hydration in end of life care, for use by nurses and healthcare assistants and for the past five years represented the RCN on the NHS Benchmarking Steering Group for National Audit Care at the End of Life.
But it’s the memories of the people she’s worked with that will stay with her. “I’ll always remember fundraising for North London Hospice with my daughter – particularly on Santa’s sleighs! – and helping with and watching North London’s Got Talent. However, it’s an experience of providing care to so many amazing people with a fantastic team that will linger longest in my memory.”
We would all like to thank Giselle for her outstanding contribution over more than two decades with NLH and wish her luck and success as she takes up a new UK wide Associate Director of Nursing and Quality role at Marie Curie.
North London Hospice is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account number 20198