For Caroline Archibold, Staff Nurse in our Taunton In-patient Unit, even on holiday she’s still thinking of St. Margaret’s Hospice! While on holiday in Cyprus Caroline’s mum unfortunately needed medical assistance, which led her to crossing paths with Dr Andreas Demetriou, Clinical Director of The Friends’ Hospice in Paphos.

While there Caroline was invited to visit the hospice and compared the services offered by St. Margaret's and The Friends' Hospice. The Paphos Clinical is within the local hospital and doesn't have specifically trained staff.

When Caroline returned she set about organising how we could help train the nurses and ancillary staff over in Cyprus. The specially tailored programmes for all aspects of palliative care are being introduced over the next 4 months by members of the St. Margaret’s Hospice team.

The first visit took place in 2015 with Caroline returning to the island with Faith Rylands, a Palliative Care Nurse Specialist based in the Taunton Community.

Chris Jones, President of The Friends’ Hospice Foundation, said: “We are very grateful to St. Margaret’s for offering their expertise in this specialised field. Palliative care is very different to all other aspects of nursing and family support, and these programmes will greatly benefit our staff and patients.”

Continuing the relationship between St. Margaret’s and The Friends’ Hospice in Paphos, last year two members of the Cyprus Hospice came to St. Margaret's to undergo more training from Caroline and the team.

Speaking with Chrysanthi and Paraskevi they said there were a lot of differences between the practice in Cyprus and St. Margaret’s. The main one was the wonderful buildings our In-patient Units are housed in and the relaxing and peaceful gardens our patients are able to enjoy.

Their hospice is part of a much larger medical site and they rent a section of the building so they have no outdoor area and it still looks very much like a hospital.

"We don’t have the same prescribing permissions as you do over here, which is a shame as it really does seem to speed the patient’s treatments up.

You also have many volunteers who offer your patients a lot more than we are able to offer."

Chrysanthi and Paraskevi have returned and are passing on everything they learnt and use this knowledge to improve systems and patient care in Paphos.