Our Grantham Hospice is still open to patients throughout the coronavirus pandemic

24th October 2020

Hospice in the Hospital nurses

The St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital has remained open, caring for some of the most vulnerable in society during the pandemic.

In 2014, St Barnabas Hospice launched their Grantham Hospice in the Hospital in collaboration with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the South-West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The six-bed unit in Grantham and District General Hospital has cared for hundreds of local patients at the end of their lives.

 

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the Hospice in the Hospital has remained open, caring for some of the most vulnerable in society. Teresa Carter, a staff nurse in the St Barnabas Hospice Grantham Community Services team, has shared her experience of the Hospice in the Hospital when they cared for her dad, Les, in 2018. Teresa Carter

Teresa said, “My dad was a fiercely independent, proud man who always knew what he did and didn’t want throughout his life. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and had a suspicious lung nodule.

“On 3rd September 2018, a neighbour called me to let me know Dad’s kitchen blind was still closed. I drove round to check on him and found him in his armchair, out of breath and drowsy. He was rushed to Grantham Hospital where he was diagnosed with sepsis and started treatment. When I went to visit him the next day, he was delirious. I was told he was in renal failure and that nothing more could be done. I was totally knocked sideways. Our whole family were in a state of shock and disbelief, feeling frightened and unbalanced. That evening, my dad was transferred to the St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital for end of life care.

“The team at St Barnabas treated my dad with dignity, kindness and respect at all times. The nurses allowed me to be involved in his care and I could stay with him all the time. Because of St Barnabas, Dad had a comfortable death and our family will always remember that. The Hospice Chaplain was a massive support to me both while Dad was in the Hospice and afterwards. I can’t thank her enough for her presence at such a difficult time.

“On the night that Dad died, the nurses positioned him in his bed so that I could lie next to him. This kind gesture is one which I will always cherish. When Dad’s breathing changed, I lay beside him. He died a few minutes later in my arms.

“I went back to the Hospice a few weeks later with some gifts for the incredible nurses there and they had saved the blanket from the camp bed I had laid on in Dad’s room to give to me. This was the blanket which they had laid over Dad after he died. The thoughtfulness of these nurses is simply beyond belief.

“When you step inside the Hospice in the Hospital, it is not like you would think. It feels homely and is a quiet, private, calm and peaceful place to be. It feels nothing like a hospital. I am so grateful that Dad had this special place to spend his last few days in and was surrounded by an incredible team of staff from the Hospice in the Hospital.

“As a St Barnabas nurse myself, I have very high standards, yet the level of care my dad and family received from the Hospice in the Hospital exceeded my expectations. I feel it is a privilege to be part of so many lives and to help people at such a difficult time. The memory of how people die lives on in those who are left behind, so it is important we get it right. Families never forget, and hopefully they will find some comfort from this over time.”

The St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital is still here for patients in Lincolnshire who are living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. Patients can come to the Hospice for a short stay to get their pain relief under control, or they may wish to spend their last few days receiving free, round-the-clock care from specialist nurses in a homely environment.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Grantham and District General Hospital is operating as a ‘green site’, meaning all departments are free of coronavirus. St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital patients are all tested before entry and nurses on this unit do not work elsewhere. The admission process has been streamlined to support families and healthcare professionals during what is a particularly busy and chaotic time.

If you or a loved one would benefit from the care that the St Barnabas Hospice in the Hospital provides, please speak to a healthcare professional such as your GP, community nurse, specialist nurse or hospital doctor. More information can be found at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/care-in-grantham

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