New hospice head impressed

18:46, Jan 22 2013
Judith Bruce
Values volunteers: New Hospice Marlborough manager Judith Bruce

The new manager of Hospice Marlborough says she has been humbled by the commitment and dedication of its volunteers.

Judith Bruce said it was unbelievable how much time volunteers were prepared to give up.

They look after everything from reception to the lawns, Mrs Bruce said.

"In fact, they do most things I can think of . . . except for our clinical work."

The hospice had 280 volunteers to help keep it buoyant, she said.

"It shows the level of public commitment to the hospice."


Mrs Bruce, who started at Hospice Marlborough last week, said she had valued hospice care throughout her working life.

The level of care and sincerity of nurses, doctors and in-patient staff in palliative care was overwhelming, she said.

"I became really passionate about palliative care in the last year working in private dementia care."

Mrs Bruce, originally from Westland, was managing a dementia hospital in Nelson before moving to Marlborough. She came from a nursing background, working at Greymouth Hospital for 13 years before completing an advanced diploma in nursing, specialising in palliative care, in 1988. She also worked as a midwife before becoming manager of the West Coast District Health Board's maternity services in 1996.

In 2010, Mrs Bruce enrolled for a Masters of Business Administration at Massey University.

She graduates in April.

"I had been managing for years but was aware I only had qualifications in human resources.

"I wanted to back up with science what I had been doing."

Mrs Bruce started last Monday but got stuck in immediately, she said.

"My goals are to work in line with the established values here.

"It's a wonderful facility that is very well-staffed, with excellent medical cover, and the team are very positive and welcoming."

Mrs Bruce's first meeting with the Marlborough Hospice Trust is tomorrow.

The mother-of-four said she had always liked Marlborough.

Her daughter works here in the wine industry.

Mrs Bruce was looking to buy a house in Havelock to be close to the water.

She was a three-time Forrest GrapeRide competitor, she said.

"I'm good at completing challenges," she said.

"If you can keep going [on the GrapeRide], you can keep going."

The Marlborough Express