"Wishes to be cared for at home respected and wishes to die at home achieved"

About: Border Caring Services Borders Community Services / Community Nursing Borders General Hospital / Day Procedure Unit Borders General Hospital / Medical Oncology Borders General Hospital / Pain management Borders General Hospital / Podiatry Borders General Hospital / Speech & Language Therapy Borders General Practices Margaret Kerr Unit

(as a service user),

My uncle visited Waverley Medical Practice on many occasions due to significant weight loss. He always attended the surgery but when unable he would receive a home visit. He had two admissions to hospital, which he hated and wished for no treatment when cancer was diagnosed. Vikas and the district nurses (Fiona, Lizza and Maryanne) always shown the utmost respect to my uncle and never judged him or his choices. Vikas always maintained valuable continuity and ensured the relevant professionals were involved in a timely and respectful way.

Vikas, Fiona and lein (palliative care nurse) ensured the equipment from the ability store , appropriate medication, carers and Margaret (Marie Curie Nurse) were all in place to support his wish to die at home with comfort and dignity to the highest level. Much coordination was required by Vikas to ensure my uncles wishes were achieved. 

Vikas and the team at Waverley practice (even Mary at reception) ensured a very high level of regard for my uncle and without them he would not have received his wish to die at home. 

my uncle had appropriate timelely and particularly person centred care that respected his wishes. The team were reactive to all his needs that were ever changing to ensure he had a dignified death at home 

Vikas went the extra mile to work out of hours to ensure he was cross matched to receive a blood transfusion which gave him some relief to his symptoms as a day patient in MAU a few weeks before his death 

my uncle wrote an advanced statement which was clear on his wishes which the team followed and understood what was important to Peter. 

so as you can see Vikas coordinated care around his changes in presentation and received timely care from himself, district nurses, ability store, bordercare, podiatry, speech and language therapy, palliative care team, MAU, Lloyds and Borders pharmacy and finally Marie Curie. All above coordination ensured my uncle received the care he required and his wish to die at home was achieved. My uncle died peacefully at home with Margaret by his side. We are forever grateful to Vikas and the Waverley Practice by ensuring his dignified death which we gain a huge comfort from. Thank you.

Responses

Response from Dr Annabel Howell, Associate Medical Director, NHS Borders

picture of Dr Annabel Howell

Many thanks for your feedback and I would like to say on behalf of the team that we are sorry for your loss. I am pleased however that his wishes around treatment (or not) and his preferences for place of care were not only respected but supported and that he received the right care for him, in the right place for him and at the right time.

I hope that will be some consolation through the next few months and will ensure that all those mentioned see you comments.

Thank you for sharing this on Care Opinion at such a time.

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Response from Lynn Mccallum, Consultant Physician. Clinical Director of Unscheduled Care, Acute Medicine, NHS Borders

picture of Lynn Mccallum

Dear Reassured relatives,

Reading your uncle's story, I felt quite humbled to have been involved and to have played a small part in his experience. As the Clinical Lead for MAU and AAU, I am so pleased that we were able to deliver some symptomatic relief in the form of blood transfusion, without him having to be admitted into the hospital.

Although none of us want to think about either the death of our loved ones or indeed our own deaths, I think that we would all wish to have control at the end and a say in where this happens. Although I am saddened at the final outcome, I am really pleased that as a very wide team, we were able to deliver your uncle's final wishes.

I'd like to echo Annabel's thanks to you for taking the time to share both your uncle's and family's experience, particularly at this very difficult time and can assure you that I will forward your kind words to the MAU/AAU team for their small involvement.

With best wishes,

Lynn

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Update posted by Reassured relatives (a service user)

Thank you Annabel and Lynn for taking time to respond to our story. My uncle was so happy he was able to be cared for in a timely way at MAU for his blood transfusion. After donating over 80 pints of blood he felt he was entitled to take 2 back to allieviate his symptoms.

He is now at peace and we truly gain comfort that everything he wished for was not questioned and supported. Thank you.

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