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"My husband's treatment"

About: Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust / End of Life - Palliative Care Forest Holme

(as a relative),

My husband John was suffering with a rare pleomorphic carsenoma and being cared for by Saski and Lisa from Forest Holme, at home, whose care was exemplary.

However in his last hours, he was moved by the nurses from his own double bed into a hospital bed in our spare room against our wishes. He had tried it whilst he was still able to walk and didn't like it. I was deprived me of being able to lay with John in his last hours and to hold him close. John died at 11.10pm that night, thus also depriving our daughter and his sister of saying goodbye, as moving him used up any little energy he may have had left, and he may have hung on in his own comfortable bed till the morning to see them. I didn't feel listened to, and I feel a huge guilt at not stopping John from being moved, but it all happened so quickly when I was absent from the room that I could do nothing to stop it. They said it was in John's best interests, but having been with him for over 40 years, I felt I knew what was best.

Earlier whilst washing John, I kissed his mouth and he was stone cold and I knew he didn't have long left. I just wanted him to be left where he was comfortable and I could lay with him.

I have gone through the complaints procedure, but this didn't help - I still have the picture of John being wheeled down my hall on a commode chair and being bundled into the hospital bed, every time I close my eyes. They said there had been verbal agreement to be moved, but by that time he was non-communicative, so I have to question the accuracy of that statement. The report said that that the move had been discussed with me, but it wasn't as I was in my lounge with John's sister, whilst I thought they were just assessing a small pink mark on his hip and sorting his syringe driver.

What should have been a peaceful end was turned into a fiasco, for which I can never forgive them. John's last few hours were spent in a bed that was not comfortable for him with the commode chair jammed against the side in case he should fall out, which meant I had to sit near the bottom of the bed and was only able to hold his hand. Can't write any more as tears are falling at this painful memory.          


Response from Saskie Dorman, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Forest Holme Hospice, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust 2 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Saskie Dorman
Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Forest Holme Hospice,
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust


Submitted on 07/08/2021 at 16:11
Published on Care Opinion on 09/08/2021 at 10:04

picture of Saskie Dorman

Dear Ukelelylady,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write.

We’re so sorry about what happened in your husband John’s last hours, and the lasting impact it has had. The last memories of one so well-loved are vivid.

You cared for him beautifully.

We can’t change what happened, much as everyone involved wishes that things had been different.

We can – we must – learn from your experiences, both how to care and communicate better, and also how we respond when concerns are raised. We are working with our colleagues to enable people to feel better supported – and listened to – throughout.

Thank you for agreeing to meet, to talk about what would be most helpful.

Again, our deepest thanks for writing.

With best wishes,

Saskie, Lisa and Jane

Saskie Dorman, consultant in palliative medicine, Forest Holme Hospice

Lisa Cabral, community specialist palliative care nurse, Forest Holme Hospice

Jane Rickett, advanced nurse practitioner, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust

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