Rachel Bucknall

Care Director, 1995 to 2007

Rachel Bucknall grew up always wanting to be a nurse. She did her training at Liverpool’s Sefton General Hospital in the mid 1960s and worked in many different departments all over the country. Later in her career she became particularly interested in palliative care and took on the role of Clinical Nurse Specialist covering six community hospitals in Derbyshire. Frustrated by the direction of the NHS in the mid 1990s and looking for a new challenge, Rachel applied to St Richard’s as Patient Services Manager on the retirement of Sheila Gilbert. Her job was “to take St Richard’s into the 21st century”.  One of the first things she did was to introduce IT and the collection of data, so that St Richard’s had a way of measuring clinical outcomes.

In this wide-ranging interview, Rachel talks about her role at St Richard’s managing a staff of about 80, the development of hospice services in the late 90s and early 2000s, and the planning of a new in-patient unit.  Rachel, along with Jeannie Young, was instrumental in the design of the new hospice, visiting many other hospices before deciding on the best plan.  She talks about her involvement in the project from the digging the first turf to its official opening shortly before her retirement in 2007.