“We only get one chance to make it right” – why end-of-life care is so important

Mike with his bike before his diagnosis

This week is Dying Matters Week – a national awareness week that encourages families, friends and communities to come together to have conversations about end-of-life care.

It’s not just our palliative care teams who make sure end-of-life patients receive the best possible care during their time of need.

Last August, colleagues on our Acute Floor at HRI supported Mike, a 43-year-old patient admitted with a brain tumour. Mike died peacefully in our care 49 days after receiving his diagnosis. His brother, Jon, is now raising money for our Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Charity, walking solidly for 49 hours - an hour for each day of Mike’s prognosis.

Rhys Edwards is the Matron for Acute Medicine at HRI and was part of the team that looked after Mike and his family.

Rhys said: “The end-of-life care our patients receive is so important because we only get one chance to make it right for patients and their loved ones. We make sure we treat every patient as an individual and listen to their needs, so their time with us and the memory their loved ones have of our care is as special as it can be.

“When looking after Mike, we did everything within our powers to make his time with us as comfortable as possible. We gave him the space and time he needed, in a safe environment, to come to terms with his diagnosis. Where we could, we made special exceptions to make his stay extra special, such as bringing him things he enjoyed, like chocolate puddings.”

Thanking the whole team for the care and compassion they showed him, Mike’s brother, Jon, writes on his JustGiving page that he is raising money “not only in remembrance to Mike but to help and support the nurses and doctors that supported us and our brother, husband and son. I know he would have wanted to give something back.”

You can read more about Mike and Jon’s story, and donate to Jon’s fundraising walk using this link: Crowdfunding to Calderdale and Huddersfield general hospital.

More information about Dying Matters Week can also be found on their website: Dying Matters Awareness Week | Hospice UK