Creating special memories and keepsakes for patients nearing end of life and their families has been made possible thanks to donations made by the public to our Hospital Heroes Appeal.
Memory boxes have been created and will be delivered to every ward, including the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Emergency Department during this year’s national Dying Matters Awareness Week, 11-18 May.
Helen Meehan, (pictured above) Lead Nurse Palliative Care and End of Life Care said: “The coronavirus pandemic does present new challenges, but caring with compassion, kindness and respect are absolutely central to all that we do.
“Every patient matters and every family matters here at RUH Bath and we are so pleased to have the memory boxes. They will enable our staff to support patients nearing end of life and their families and we hope that the keepsakes and memories created will bring compassion, some connection and comfort.”
With the theme for this year’s Dying Matters week being ‘Dying to be Heard’, people are being encouraged to talk to their families, partners and friends and listen to their wishes if they want to talk about what is important to them. Conversations like these can be hard, but they are important to have.
Helen said: “When a loved one wants to talk about nearing end of life, it’s really important that we enable them to say what is important to them and that we listen as it will bring a shared understanding of what matters to them at this time.”
As well as helping patients create memories for their loved ones, the Trust has also introduced a ‘keeping in touch’ service and ‘virtual visiting’ by providing mobiles phones on all wards so families can spend time with their loved one, if they are unable to visit.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic over 150 RUH staff have received palliative care training and new COVID-19 resources have been developed by the Palliative Care Team to support staff on all wards so they can provide compassionate end of life care.