One of SA’s biggest hospices at death’s door as fed-up staff quit

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One of South Africa’s biggest hospices, St Luke’s Combined Hospice, is in danger of imploding amid a staff exodus and allegations of a “chasm” between top management and clinical teams, reports The Times. Liz Gwyther, who heads the Hospice Palliative Care Association of SA, is quoted in the report as saying: “We do have concerns about St Luke’s and I am aware that their staff turnover has been horrendous.”

Christine Nachmann, a counsellor, caregiver and trainer who was involved with the organisation for 13 years, said she and many others had resigned due to a management style that was threatening the organisation. Dr Shelley Kibel, who was the chief medical officer when she resigned in 2017 after nine years of service, said things were already “problematic” when she got there but deteriorated before she left. Dr Mary Ryan, who was head of the spiritual care section, said she left in 2016 after only 10 months.

But hospice CEO Ronita Mahilall denied staff turnover had been excessive and said allegations of an uncaring atmosphere were “completely unsubstantiated” and “appalling”.

Sunday Times report (subscription needed)

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