"Patients have to witness the death of fellow..."
About: Leeds General Infirmary Leeds General Infirmary Leeds LS1 3EX
My father recently suffered a fatal stroke and the last 10 days of his life were spend in the LGI. The staff were very caring and considerate and made my father extremely comfortable. Once my father was placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway, as a family, we wanted to be with him in his last days and the staff kindly allowed us to stay 24 hours. The only space for us however other than my fathers bedside was a tiny room. The room was also used by families of all the other relatives for private discussions and was totally inadequate. However, my main concern is that my father was on a ward with 2 other patients, who had to witness his death and a grieving family. Our final words and actions with him were overheard by strangers and out of respect to them we had to muffle our sorrows. I find this shocking. No patient should have that situation inflicted on them. Medical staff will witness this everyday but I would be horrified if I had to lay in my bed and watch a person pass away. We were advised that the private rooms were taken by people with infections which is absolutely the right thing but that does not excuse what is been allowed to happen on the open wards. We did offer to pay for a private room in order to be with him and care for him in his final days in private. I am amazed that this facility is not available in this day and age. I am sure we are not unusual in our experience. The NHS are constantly looking to reduce cost and do not put any focus or weight behind the possibility of obtaining income when offered. In view of the fact that 70% of people still die in hospital the EOL care programme should surely look at providing funded beds in their acute hospitals, especially once a patient is reaching the end of their life and require little medical intervention.