Search This Blog

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Pathway to Peace?


Winifred Chapman

Today the words of Gary Walker, former chief executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, have  put fear into the hearts of many of  us with elderly relatives.  After the terrible treatment  of patients at hospitals in Stafford,  which led to more than 1,000 deaths, we now hear  allegations of an NHS cover-up in Lincoln.

 My mother-in-law (pictured above) died in Louth County Hospital, Lincolnshire in 2009 at the age of 86. She was a happy, positive lady, who always looked on the bright side of life and, when asked how she was feeling,  replied without hesitation  'not too bad at all.'

When the nurse took us aside to say that her kidneys had failed, we worried about her suffering too much pain. That's when they explained about The Liverpool Pathway - a careplan for people in their dying days. 'Don't worry - we will look  after her,' they hospital  told us. And they did.

For more than a week we visited every day,  taking it in turns with the rest of her family, laughing about the past, chatting about children and grandchildren, and all the time, as she lay there, she continued to praise the nurses.

'They're ever so friendly, and can't do enough for me,' she said one day, tucking in to her favourite haddock  chips and peas. 'They say I make them laugh.'

Nothing was too much trouble for those nurses (not that my mother-in-law asked for much) and they assured us many times that she was a pleasure to look after.

Finally, when  the time was drawing near, they explained what was going to happen and left us in dignified peace.

 Nurses all over the country do an exceptional job and, amidst all  the bad publicity, we mustn't forget about them. Of course bad news makes headlines - I should know -  it used to be part of my job. Today I wanted to tell the other side of the story.



clo said...

Very true. A dignified lady with a dignified end x x x

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

My daughter works in hospital. I know there are good and caring caregivers as well as some that are burnt out. It's not an easy job at all and I too am grateful for the ones that truly care.
Could you take off the word verification? It is very difficult to get the two right, usually takes 3 tries and sometimes I just give up. thank you because I like to visit and comment.

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks for your comment, Francie - they'll be easier to make from now on! I'm not surprised your daughter has gone into the caring profession - you sound like a lovely family.

Barbara said...

A dear friend died on Monday. It was all very sad, but she was looked after by a team of wonderful Macmillan nurses. I really can’t say enough about the care she received.

Guernsey Girl said...

How lovely to know that her last moments were full of comfort and safety - and care.I'm sure that helps with your grief, Barbara.