"Palliative Care at its best."

About: Torbay Hospital

Mum was admitted on Sunday March 1st. She was brought in by ambulance and eventually taken to ER. The department was extremely busy. At the time we thought that she was just suffering from a UTI, although understood that she was feeling extremely poorly. She had only been unwell for a few days prior. Eventually after numerous tests carried out by the most caring of all staff involved, I was informed that her white blood cell count was ominously high and warned that it could possibly suggest leukaemia, although it was too early to say whether or not it was aggressive. Mum was taken to Forrest Ward approximately six hours after being admitted and made comfortable. On visiting Mum the following afternoon, we found a nurse sitting with her and discovered that a nurse had been with her all night as she had been agitated and had climbed out of bed. I was astounded at the level of care provided. We were called in to see the doctor taking care of Mum who was very sensitive in giving us the news that Mum had indeed got leukaemia and that her life expectancy was very short. A huge shock at the time as one can imagine. A day later Mum was moved into a room on her own. We were given open visiting which enabled my two sons to visit her in the evening after work. From then on she was nursed with dignity, compassion and love by all concerned. Her pain was kept to an absolute minimum, and she was as comfortable as I could have possibly hoped for. The domestic team were equally wonderful, always speaking to Mum whenever they came in and having something lovely to say. She deteriorated very rapidly. I was called on Thursday 5th March early in the morning by one of the nurses to let us know that she was fading. My husband and I spent the day with her, the nurses ensuring that I let them know if she was at all uncomfortable, before she passed away very peacefully in early evening. I feel so thankful and privileged to have been with her when she passed in such calm and sensitive surroundings with a wonderful team of nurses close by, but not intrusive. All the staff deserves huge praise for the care both Mum received, and indeed myself as my welfare also was obviously deemed to be important, as I was continually being asked how I was coping both by the doctor and the nurses. Not forgetting the cups of tea and biscuits offered and brought to me by extremely busy nursing staff in ER during the long evening after we arrived. Torbay hospital demonstrated palliative care at its best. I will always be grateful to everyone involved.

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Responses

Response from PALS Dept, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

We are delighted to read your encouraging comments. Staff appreciate hearing about patients and their relatives positive experiences and your feedback will be shared with those concerned.

Kind regards South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

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Response from Torbay Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment at what must be a distressing time. Staff appreciate hearing about patients and their relatives positive experiences and your feedback will be shared with those concerned. Kind regards South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

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Response from Sam Holden, Patient Experience Lead, Patient Quality and Safety, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group

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Dear Anonymous,

Please accept my condolences to you and your family for the sad passing of your mum.

I was humbled and moved to read of your experience, it is clear that both the physical care and the emotional support offered to you, your family and your mum was fantastic. It can sometimes be difficult to ensure that not only the patient but also their family get the right level of support during what is a really stressful and sad time, so I am pleased that it was right for you.

I really hope that the compassion and care provided by the entire staff helped make what was an upsetting time slightly more bearable. I know that they will all be pleased to receive such feedback.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your feedback.

Kind Regards

Sam

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