"Palliative Care at its best."
About: Torbay Hospital Torbay Hospital Torquay TQ2 7AA
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.