St Helena Hospice appoints new Director of Patient and Family Services


Date: 25th October 2017

Hospice appoints new Director of Patient and Family Services.

St Helena Hospice has appointed Jo Tonkin as its new Director of Patient and Family Services.

Colchester-born Jo (52) says her new role, in which she will be responsible for staff working with patients and their families in the community as well as in the hospice feels like `closing the loop’ on her career.

She explained: “I’ve been privileged enough to work with patients at the beginning of their cancer journey, and in their treatment phase and I’ve worked with patients in a hospital with palliative care needs. Until now I haven’t been able to close the loop and work with patients and their families towards the end of their journey in a hospice environment or in their homes.”

Jo is committed to making St Helena Hospice’s services available to as many people as possible in north Essex.

“We know that the quality of care that’s provided for the whole family by the hospice is so needed and there are so many people out there who need that level of service and currently are unable to tap into it.

“That’s not just those with cancer, but those with long term conditions such as dementia, heart failure, or respiratory conditions. If I can help the hospice widen its reach for these patients and their families I will feel like I have made a difference.”

During her career in nursing Jo has worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Charing Cross Hospital and The Royal Marsden in London as well as West Suffolk, Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.

“Throughout my career working in palliative care has been about looking after the patient and the family as a whole. To feel that there is any impact you can have to help make that really challenging time in people’s lives just slightly easier by supporting them is really rewarding.

“I was brought up in Colchester and went to Philip Morant School, so I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to be able to improve the lives of people in my home town and the surrounding area.”

Married with five children/step-children ranging from 17 to 30, Jo says colleagues across the organisation have made her feel really welcome.

“The thing that has struck me about St Helena Hospice and the team so far is the passion they have for what they do. Whether that’s people working on the Inpatient Unit, in the community, volunteers or people who work in areas like fundraising, the team here has a passion and drive to develop the hospice services and to reach out into areas where there is a huge amount of unmet need. It’s really motivating and I feel I am joining the team at a very exciting time.”


Note to Editors

Press information

St Helena Hospice Marketing and Communications Office
t: 01206 931464 e:


St Helena Hospice was established in 1985 and provides specialist palliative care services for patients and their families living in North Essex who have progressive, incurable illness. The emphasis for this charity is about quality of life and services include Community Services, Therapies and Wellbeing, an Inpatient Unit, Clinical Nurse Specialists, medical services, family support, psychological therapies, spiritual support, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology, massage and Shiatsu. Each year the hospice raises a considerable sum from the local community to maintain the specialist care offered.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of St Helena Hospice, on Wednesday 25 October, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

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St Helena Hospice appoints new Director of Patient and Family Services