40 Faces of hospice care | Sue Quincey, Staff Nurse at St Barnabas

29th September 2023

A lady, Sue Quincey, who is a Staff Nurse at the St Barnabas Hospice Inpatient Unit in Lincoln, photographed in black and white, against a black backdrop

In 1991, Sue returned home from holiday to find a job application form for St Barnabas in the post. While it was a surprise for Sue, it marked the start of a new chapter in her career.

A few months before, nurse Sue went on duty at St George’s Hospital in Lincoln, to find a brain tumour patient unconscious and deteriorating. Sue called the patient’s husband, who arrived shortly afterwards with their son. Sadly, the lady died that night. And while Sue wanted to be there for the family, the ward was just too busy. She knew it shouldn’t be that way and shared her thoughts with the ward sister. When a vacancy at St Barnabas came up while Sue was on holiday, despite not wanting to lose her, the ward sister arranged for an application form to be sent to Sue’s home.

That was 31 years ago, and she’s been with us ever since. In fact, by serendipity, Sue nursed the ward sister’s husband at the Hospice a few years ago. Sue joined us as a State Enrolled Nurse (SEN), and encouraged by colleagues, trained to become a staff nurse and provide even greater care to patients. Today, staff nurse Sue is a spiritual champion too. The Hospice’s holistic approach to end-of-life, by taking care of people physically, emotionally and spiritually, is just one of the things she loves about St Barnabas.

Sue’s devotion to patients and their families shines through in everything she does. And her mischievousness makes everyone smile. So, when an equally mischievous patient challenged her to do a roly-poly in his side room, that’s what she did. Unfortunately for Sue, her senior manager walked through the door just as she was showing off her skills (or lack of!). Thankfully it was met with laughter and was just what the patient needed.

Sometimes Sue is the nurse that gives an injection to help the pain. Other times she’s the listening ear for patients with fears and anxieties. And occasionally she finds herself being the conduit between patients and their families. Sue often tells patients and families that, sadly, she doesn’t have a magic wand. But she does have some tools she can use to make things a little easier.

Despite not having a wand, Sue brings sparkle in dark times to so many people with her kindness, expert professional care and a humanity that makes the worst times that little bit better.

In her own words… “It’s a privilege to be with people on their journey as they near the end of their life. I hope I make a difference to the lives of the people I look after; they make such a difference to mine. It’s a shared experience – I can teach patients many things, but they teach me so much too. I’m a better person having worked at the Hospice for as long as I have.”

Fundraise for us

Support your local Hospice by taking part in one of our pre-organised challenges, or take on your own! You will receive support along every step of the way!

Learn more about Fundraising


Make friends, use your know how, make a difference. We are grateful to the hundreds of people who give their time each week.

Register your interest