“The years working for hospice have been the best years of my life” – Trevor Wiblin

#HospiceVisits continue this week with a closer look at Saint Francis Hospice. We managed to have a chat with the CEO Trevor Wiblin, who shared with us his experiences with hospice and before.

Background before hospice

Before Trevor started his journey at hospice most of his time was spent in the financial world where he was a branch manager of a building society (EP Building Society) for 24 years. He then took the package and ran his own business, which was a surf shop, and after 5 years he sold it. “For a while I was sort of looking around for something to do when I stumbled across the hospice advertisement where they were looking for a full time administrator. I applied and then came in as the first full time administrator, because things had started growing prior to this, with volunteers doing bits and pieces, and guys who would come in on a part time basis where they would do the books and so forth, so when I came in I was the first full time administrator”  Trevor mentioned.

Difficult changes that had to be made

One of the first jobs Trevor mentioned that he had to investigate was the fact that St Francis still had an in-patient unit and it was costing the hospice a lot of money. “We had to take into account the viability of having that, and a whole process followed of research involving doctors, patients, across the spectrum and we eventually came to the decision that we needed to close the in-patient unit, so that was completed in 2005; with the proviso however that we would increase our home-based care footprint, which was successfully implemented, increasing the number of patients we looked after from 400 to about 650 patients, which was kept going for a number of years.“

The honour of growing in the hospice

Trevor commented on what an honour it was working with Sister Lesley Lawson, who was the founder matron of St Francis Hospice. “She was the nursing services director, so we worked hand in hand together until she retired in 2007, and then the board appointed me as the director of the hospice.  I considered this a great honour because by no means am I a medical man, strictly the more administrative type.”  However Trevor commented that he has amazing support from such a wonderful group of people that are so qualified in what they do. “I feel together we complement each other well and make a really good team!”

Rewards of working for hospice

“Often I have said that it sounds very philosophical when I stand up and say that my years at hospice have been the best of my life, but it is so true!” Trevor said. He mentioned that the 13 years that he has been involved with Hospice, have been very challenging, varied, there have been many downs. However it’s been extremely interesting and at the same time rewarding, because for him when you are working for hospice you don’t have that corporate type pf pressure with client deadlines and so forth. “We are all still kept very busy at hospice, however it’s a busy that can be very fulfilling and enriching. I have been able to grow and learn from the amazing people I work with and the quality that they bring to the table has been irreplaceable.

The “H” factor

Trevor has often met many other hospice people from around the world at conferences and he also picks up the “H” factor, which to him is the hospice factor, which is something that is just special.    “Our staff that work at St Francis, from the administrative to the fund raisers, carers, they all have the “H” factor.” He also commented on the fact that he has seen people work at the hospice, nurses and so forth, with all the qualifications, but they lack that “something”. They don’t feel they have the “H” factor. The performance is never in doubt and they do their jobs admirably, it’s just they feel they don’t belong. Hospice to Trevor is a calling and if you work for hospice you will experience it and know it is for you.

Trevor and his team at St Francis Hospice are doing a fantastic job. Find out how you can make a difference and get involved here.