As Medical Director at Havens Hospices, Dr Rachael Marchant is responsible for ensuring the medical teams provide the exceptional level of care we strive for, continually developing and improving our services.
After qualifying from Warwick Medical School in 2008, Rachael’s first doctor role was on an oncology ward at Southend Hospital. She says, “The palliative care team there provided the sort of care I wanted to be involved in, holistic, personalised and compassionate. Whichever way my career went, I knew I wanted to communicate with the skill and compassion I saw in this team.”
Rachael trained as a GP, with four months as a trainee at the original Fair Havens in Westcliff. “A hospice team is a bit like a family, and I felt well supported and empowered to provide a level of care to people, which I had found to be challenging to achieve in a hospital.”
Rachael has worked locally as a GP for 10 years and still works one day a week to ensure her skills are kept up to date. Over the years, she has developed her interest in palliative and end of life care, working as a Macmillan GP, and still holds the role of Clinical Support Fellow for end of life for the Royal College of GPs and Marie Curie.
Rachael returned to Fair Havens at the start of 2020, taking on the Medical Director post the following year and completing a Masters in Palliative Medicine for Healthcare Professionals.
“Clinically, I work mostly within the In Patient Unit, where I also support GP trainees. I am passionate about improving palliative and end of life care for those who need specialist hospice services and our whole community. Training future GPs is one way of contributing to this. I am also involved in training medical students and non-medical prescribers.
“I am a strong believer in collaboration and believe that by working with other organisations in our local system, other hospices and our community, we can improve and develop our services. In turn, this will contribute to the wider healthcare system to provide outstanding care to people with palliative or end of life care needs.
“My other passion is quality improvement and using recognised tools to improve services and outcomes for people. The Medical Director role at Havens Hospices is, in many ways, my dream job, and I feel extremely privileged to do this work.”