A Sutton grandad has prised a "wonderful" care service which helped his wife stay at home in her final weeks.
John and Elizabeth Hatton were supported by overnight hospice at home care after Elizabeth was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017, aged 71.
The care provided by a End of Life Care Together service, started in October 2018, enabled John to have a break and get some sleep.
Since the service more than 1,600 patients have been supported to receive care such as hospice at home, attendance at day therapy, nurse outreach care at home, or admission to a hospice.
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John said: “They came in once or twice a week and were absolutely wonderful. Knowing that I would be able to go to bed and get four to six hours sleep helped enormously because I knew it would be full on again in the morning. My wife got on with them very well too. I can’t speak too highly of them.”
This support meant Elizabeth could stay in her own home until caring for her became too much for John.
She then moved to a bedded hospice unit where she died in March 2019.
John said: “Although she wasn’t at home when she died she was able to stay at home for a lot longer than she otherwise might have due to the hospice nurses coming overnight. It was one of her main aims to live to see our grandson Isaac make his first communion at church, which she did. This meant a lot to her.”
Jo Polkey, Director of Care at Nottinghamshire Hospice said: “We were pleased to provide support for John and Elizabeth so they could stay together for as long as possible and to give John some respite from caring.”
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Figures for the service's first six months show that more patients have died in their place of choice and fewer patients have needed to attend accident and emergency.
If a patient does need A&E at King’s Mill Hospital or the Urgent Care Centre at Newark Hospital they can be identified and the service will support them to go home as soon as possible.
Deb Elleston, Lead Nurse for End of Life Care at SFH, said: “This service is about all of us caring for patients together at one of the most important times for them and their loved ones.
“A calm and dignified death is not only for the patient, we know it also has a significant impact on their loved ones.”
Carl Ellis, Head of Service for End of Life Together, said: “Our aim is to offer a range of end of life care services including hospice at home to all those people who have a need for it in the last weeks of life to support the person and their carer with one to one support through the night in their own home. This has been found to be just as valuable to the carer as to patient.”