"Angels Do Exist! -Respiratory Medecine - Ward 23..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

Our Mum - Alice - has been an in-patient within Preston Hospital for the last 10 wks following a bad fall, fractures & subsequent COPD exacerbations & repeated chest infections. Mum fought bravely throughout and had 'stays' within plastic surgery, orthopaedics, medical rehab. & laterlly respiratory medecine ( WARD 23). Previously on other wards there were some serious issues where we felt helpless and Mum's care was what we might not call 'person centred' (putting it kindly)! However, although Mum found some genuine care and compassion at times by some staff very comforting ; in particuar it became clear the ''recently recruited" nurses whos' consistency of approach, calmness and attention to detail seemed effortless - cared for Mum so well and deserve recognition for their bedside manner and willingness to help whenever asked. However within ward 23 (Bay 7) we really did come to realise that Angels do exist in our midst! We were fortunate enough to meet two nurses who both shone so brightly within a wonderful team of nurses, care staff and medics. Mum was clearly approaching the end of her formidable life and myself and my sister attended the ward daily to be made welcome..to be supported & listened to whilst caring for Mum and explaining all care issues openly & honestly. With the Nurses...at all times the dialogue was open & we were supported to express our fears...mum's fears & feelings alongside being given time to come to terms with the upsetting but inevitable fact that the last few days of Mums's life were imminent. To be afforded the opportunity to see our Mum cared for so excellently in a highly skilled environment was such a comfort & relief & we felt blessed and so fortunate that Mum was there. Mum's illness was life-limiting which she was always aware of as were we and her wishes were upheld with total dignity - to be pain free, comfortable and surrounded by her loved ones. Mum's nurses would probably say they were just doing their job.....but this is their skill...(one of them) ...that they must have to deal with relatives and patients such as ourselves daily within similar scenarios....but to be able to impart to us the love and care they did had no hint that they were just doing their job. They genuinely cared for Mum...for us...Mum's wishes...her needs...her feelings & our feelings. We left the ward on Sunday evening for the last time feeling a deep loss but knowing Mum could not have been afforded better care and love anywhere and we feel so grateful to have been helped through the difficult time by such wonderful nurses...wonderful people...we honestly believe you were sent by a Higher force to be there for us all at our time of need. they were right when they held me tightly and said " everything will be alright"....and it really was. Thankyou from the bottom of our hearts. Leigh & Lynn

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Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to tell us of your mother's experience. Whilst I was saddened to hear of her previous experiences (and would be happy to discuss those in greater detail if you feel that would be helpful and would like to contact me on 01772 522521), it was extremely heartening to read your very kind feedback about the nursing staff on Ward 23 and to hear that the care provided to your mother at the end of her life was of the high statndard we would all want for any of our family or friends. Please be assured that I have shared your kind comments with staff on that Ward.

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback at what is obviously a very difficult and sad time for you as a family. It was so heartening to hear of the care your mum received and of the compassion and high standard of support you were afforded. We have passed your very kind comments on to senior staff on Ward 23 to share.

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