"Coping with a dying person"

About: NHS Highland

(as a relative),

What was good about this sad time, was that the local doctor came out immediately I rang her. It was the middle of the night. She gave comfort to the patient and much needed support to me. I called my family, and she left us to say our goodbyes and asked that I ring her again when needed.

Once again, she came out as soon as I rang after the patient had died. She told me what to do, and what would happen later that morning. What worries me, is that without a 24 hour local call-out service from a local doctor, I would have to have dealt with this situation by myself. A doctor coming from another part of the Island would have arrived to late to help the patient - or me.

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Response from Elaine Mead, Chief Executive, NHS Highland

Dear Island patient.

I am so sorry for your loss and grateful that you feel you can share your positive experience on Patient Opinion. Our doctors in NHS Highland are oustanding, and so I am not surprised to hear about the sensitive support that she gave you and your family at this most sad time.

Doctors work as part of extended teams of other caring professionals including nurses and paramedics, so you can be reassured that we would never want you, or anyone else, to have to deal with this on your own. It is important that the team work closely together with the patient and the family to develop a plan that is known to all, and meets their needs at any time of the night or day, regardless of which member of the team is closest and able to attend. I hope that this reassures you that we are very aware of the needs of families, and will continue to work hard to make sure that we can honour the wishes of the individual at the end of their life.

Thank you again Island patient, for sharing this very personal story. It is important to us to hear about your worries and concerns as we plan our services for the future.

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