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The Friends


Dr Butler

The Wisdom Hospice team is delighted to welcome Dr Claire Butler, our new Palliative Care Consultant.

Dr Butler has a wealth of experience in this field, having spent almost 13 years as Director of Medicine and Research at the Pilgrims Hospices and previously six years as Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

Asked why she wanted the job, Dr Butler said: "I felt I had another job in me. Inevitably, when you spend a long time in one role, you’ve had your vision and a good long time to achieve it but I enjoy a new challenge and tackling different problems.

I worked with Drs David Oliver and Jackie Fisher as part of the wider Kent and Medway Palliative Care group and I knew there might be an opportunity for me here; they did a fantastic job at The Wisdom Hospice.

I am very keen on systems and teams. Planning care is all about having good, robust systems and managing the expectations of both the public and of colleagues. We have to be realistic and acknowledge that money is tight. With an aging population, demands on our services are also increasing and we need to have conversations about sustainability and look for further collaborations between health and social care professionals.”

Dr Butler said she has been made very welcome, with the only downside being her daily commute!

"I like Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) as a wider organisation,” She said. "It has the enthusiasm of a young organisation and I enjoy working in an area of need. The job is worth doing and everybody has been really friendly.

The Wisdom Hospice is looking to recruit a second consultant but there is a shortage of experts across the country. We will be looking at ways to maintain our high quality care with different roles and structures.”

Dr Butler and the MCH team are working on a medium to long term strategic vision to plan for the future needs of patients under the care of The Wisdom Hospice. And, although in future, care may be structured differently, everyone is determined to continue to provide the best possible experience for patients and their families.

Dr Claire Butler
Palliative care consultant

Dr Jo Carrim

Medway Community Healthcare is delighted to introduce Dr Joanna Carrim, The Wisdom Hospice’s new palliative care doctor.

She trained at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s hospitals and initially worked as a GP. In 2005, she made her first foray into palliative care, working for the Heart of Kent Hospice in Maidstone two days a week.

In 2010, she gave up her GP career to specialise in the field and for the past seven years has worked at ellenor in Gravesend. Jo arrived in March and works alongside consultant Dr Claire Butler.

Asked why she came to The Wisdom Hospice, Jo said: "My job at the ellenor came to a natural end and I was looking for a new challenge, a different set up. It’s lovely to see how Claire deals with similar issues in a different way. I enjoy being a palliative care specialist and it’s nice to be parachuted into lots of different areas. I go where I’m needed and I like that freedom.”

Jo, who is married with two young sons, will be working three days a week.

Welcome to the team Jo! We look forward to working with you.

Dr Jo Carrim
Palliative care Doctor

Zoe SmithWe’re delighted to welcome Zoe Smith, the new Head of Service for Palliative Care at The Wisdom Hospice.

Zoe replaces Stephanie Griffiths and comes to the team with extensive management experience. An orthopaedic physiotherapist by trade, Zoe has worked within the NHS, private practice and commissioning services.

She said: "I’m really excited about my new role. Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) is very proud of The Wisdom Hospice. Its reputation and expectations are something to live up to and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Before arriving at The Wisdom Hospice in August, the mum of two was Head of Service for Dermatology, Phlebotomy, Anti-Coagulation, Tissue Viability and Wound Care for MCH.

In the past Zoe has also been responsible for running outpatient services including physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language, and all the rest of adult therapy. Previously Zoe worked for the Swale Clinical Commissioning Group managing pharmacy, dental and optical commissioning.

She said: "It’s my first time in Palliative Care and in an inpatient unit environment. I have worked with healthcare professionals across the board and I’m invested in this community, its hospital and its hospice. We live locally. My children were born here and I am grateful for the opportunities, both professional and personal, this area has given me and I can’t wait to work with the fantastic Specialist Palliative Care Team.”

Good luck Zoe, we wish you well.

Zoe Smith
Head of service for palliative care at The Wisdom Hospice

Sharon LaneWe’re delighted to officially introduce Sharon Lane, The Wisdom Hospice’s Inpatient Palliative Nursing Team Lead.

Following an internal reorganisation, Sharon now manages both the Hospice inpatient unit and is Team Lead for Palliative Care at Medway Maritime Hospital.

Sharon said: "I’m excited to be leading the Hospice team as it gives me an opportunity for personal growth and to further develop my management skills. I am in charge of The Wisdom Hospice Inpatient Unit and the Hospital Palliative Care Team and split my time between the two sites. I am looking forward to more collaborative working within the teams and a closer working relationship with The Friends of the Wisdom Hospice.”

Sharon has been in Palliative Care for eight years and has been a nurse at Medway for 28. Her background is in surgical care and she was a Ward Manager in Urology before becoming Manager for the MRSA Cohort Ward (the first in the South East), where patients with MRSA are cared for in the same area with the aim of diminishing the risk of infection.

When Sharon was looking to learn a new skill set, the Palliative Care team vacancy arose and she applied. Committed to this new specialism, we’d like to say a massive congratulations as this summer she passed a Master’s Degree in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (Supportive and Palliative Care).

Sharon Lane
Wisdom Hospice's inpatient palliative nursing team lead