"More funding needed for palliative care patients"
Posted by PMS (as ),
I have been since March 2007 helping a close friend of mine who was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The treatment by GP and hospitals involved in Leeds has been first class, as has the support which has been received more recently by Macmillan nurses at a local hospice. However two concerns - 1- the support on a one to one basis around initial diagnosis and walking the patient (who is unwell and traumatised) through the next steps and particularly assistance, financial and other. This could only be done over the telephone, something my friend was not able to do. I did it on his behalf but it would have been much easier and less timely and wearing to have been able to do this in one meeting, face to face.
Now 13 months later, we are at the stage where Macmillan nurses are needed. The service to which we were referred had telephone answerphone saying nursing support would not be available until 24 to 48 hours. There has also been a distinct lack of co-ordination between GP, hospital, district nursing and hospice nurse. I suspect this may be a funding issue but also process related. Communication and support during this time is crucial for the patient and for those trying to support them.