"positive impact of the palliative care team on the care of my father"

About: Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust / Palliative care

(as a relative),

I would like to take this opportunity to provide some feedback to you regarding the palliative care team, Bradford District.

My father who peacefully passed away recently was referred to the Palliative Care Team by BRI - Dr Williams following the family decision not to undergo treatment in mid April 2013. I was visiting my father at the time from overseas, thus I was very grateful to the team to respond so speedily to make a home visit to meet my parents and I before my departure to initiate their role, and to gain a better understanding of their services.

Both my parents who are of Asian background do not speak English, hence the role of Asian liaison worker (Nazar Wali) proved to be very essential over the last 3 months of my father's life. Particularly my mother was able to articulate her experiences of being the main carer, her worries and anxieties about my father's condition which she felt were acknowledged and validated.

There had been significant issues with getting the District Nurses to co-ordinate, respond and engage particularly around getting the appropriate personal care items my father needed. My mother was able to express her issues and the Liaison worker acted to follow up with the district nurses.

Each time the McMillan nurse visited, the Liaison Worker accompanied and provided the interpreting element as well as the supportive role. My mother reported that she felt at ease and was able to engage with the team and receive the specialist input, and from what my mother could tell my father had also engaged well.

I appreciated that the Liaison Worker kept regular contact with my parents by home visits and regular weekly phone contact as well as maintaining contact with myself and providing me updates on my father's condition, medication changes, personal care management etc. and also on how my mother was doing which assisted me to continue my role to support my parents via phone, & face time.

In mid May 2013 my father deteriorated and my mother became very distressed, tearful and unable to tell me what was happening. The Liaison worker was making a home visit on that day and I was able to speak with him directly by phone to understand the situation. After following up with his team and other health professional, he called me back and explained that he has noted a marked deterioration in my father and in the context of my father's medical condition and what the GP's had told my mother that my father may only have a few weeks to live, in his professional experience he would advise that if possible I return back.

I returned to the UK and spent quite a number of weeks with my father and mother to care and comfort them and spend some valuable quality time with them. Luckily my father stabilised and presented as if he was getter stronger and better. Whilst I was visiting the Liaison Worker visited regularly and the McMillan nurse also made a couple of visits to assess and prescribe. The Liaison worker also took my mother to see the hospice, spoke with my brother who also has an extensive disability and explained that should my father require the hospice service that my brother would able to visit and stay with him which greatly alleviated some of the family anxiety.

As a family we feel that even though our experience of the Palliative Care Team, Bradford District had been short, it has been a positive and an essential part of caring for our father. My own impression was that efforts by the team were being made behind the scenes to build communication and transparency with other health professional who also had a role so that services and management could be co-ordinated and kept us as a family informed.

My family and I hope that our personal experience of this service provides you with some insight of the positive impact it has had.

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Response from Bradford District Care Trust

Thank you so much for sharing this story with us as it is a very emotional journey you have been through and I am sure many others who are going through the same will find it useful to read about your experience.

I am ever so pleased your family had a very positive experience of our Palliative Care Service and in particular you have pointed out the good work done by Nazar to ensure your family needs were appropriately met. I have shared this story with my team so they can see the impact of their work on families we work with.

Feedback about our service is crucial to us and so again I thank you sincerely for sharing your story.

Belinda Marks

Palliative Care Team

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