Romanian Adventures

Romanian Adventures

Posted on 9 May 2016 by Katie Ronald

Four Ayrshire Hospice staff will be spending this coming week in Bucharest and Brasov with thanks to some generous grant funding from Romania.  Mandy Oszczypala our day services team leader and Heather Hardie one of our physiotherapists along with Rhonda Gilfillan and Alison Barr, both staff nurses from our in-patient unit, will all provide advice and support to a hospice team in Bucharest as they set up their service in a new building and with many newly appointed clinical staff.  Working alongside colleagues in Romania will provide fantastic opportunities for shared learning, service improvement and co-operation between our hospice services, and for all the individuals involved.  

Day 1, Sunday 8th May 2016

Romanian Trip Day 1

“We all arrived at Glasgow Airport at 7am this morning, feeling both nervous and excited about the prospect of going to Hospice Casa Sperantei in Bucharest.   So our journey here was split in two. First leg was from Glasgow to Amsterdam leaving at 9.15am and arriving at Schipol at 11.15am local time. Flying with KLM has been a very positive experience so far very comfortable and plenty of leg room for our Heather. 

Arrive in Schipol at terminal D16 and a short walk later we arrived at gate D5 and waited the hour before we could board for the flight to Bucharest. The weather was beautiful and bright and a warm 23 degrees. So again the flight to Bucharest was comfortable and enjoyable with lots of chat between my colleagues.

We arrived in Bucharest at 5pm, local time they are two hours ahead of the U.K., managed to collect our luggage in a reasonable amount of time and head out of the airport to be met by Anton Diaconu, the Patient Services Director of Hospice Casa Sperantei, holding his sign saying Hospice.  Tony was lovely but straight away our fast paced dialogue caused slight communication problems! But this did not deter Tony, or ourselves from chatting and asking questions of each other.

We arrived at our apartment in University Square in Old Town Bucharest and it is quaint but comfortable and within walking distance of lots of local amenities. Tony did an excellent job of being a tour guide telling us local facts and explaining about local history. The architecture in the area is interesting with a mixture of old buildings next to new ones and small churches pressed between buildings.

We enjoyed some traditional Romanian food in La Placinte at Tony's recommendation. Again the conversation flowed between us and Tony focussing on how his hospice works in comparison to our own. 

So now it's 11.30pm, local time, and we have finally unpacked and are signing off for the night before our pick up at 7.30am tomorrow morning to start our exciting time within Hospice Casa Sperantei”. 

Through Hospices of Hope, the leading hospice care charity in South East Europe, two other hospice staff have previously volunteered in the Romanian hospices and this has established an innovative partnership between the two charities.  Hospices of Hope’s pioneering work introduced the concept of palliative care into the region and, with its partner organisations, it now works in Romania, Serbia, Moldova and Slovenia.  From very small beginnings with a hospice home care team in Brasov it now has two purpose built hospices in Romania, provides hospice care services from six different locations and runs four palliative care training centres.  As well as direct patient care the charity places a very strong emphasis on education and training medical professionals and has to date trained health care professionals from 19 different countries.

The Ayrshire Hospice is very grateful for the funding support which has come from Romania to allow this shared learning to happen and look forward to contributing to the development of the Bucharest Hospice.