Driving Hospice Care campaign: Nurses fear they could become stranded at any time (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Driving Hospice Care campaign: Nurses fear they could become stranded at any time
The Hospice at Home team with one of the new vehicles which would be supplied by Rayrigg Motors of Windermere.
NURSE Sue Hughes has given her all to her job since she founded the Hospice at Home team nine years ago.
She works long hours to ensure patients receive medical and psychological support, and provides invaluable advice for those who will be left behind.
But on top of a busy and demanding workload, the 54-year-old also has the worry that she could be left stranded at any time by her work car.
“I just always wonder if I’m going to make it,” she said. “Is the car going to get there? Will it break down?
“It shouldn’t be like that when our focus is on the patient.”
She explained that she and her colleagues had relied on the kindness of locals, who have donated several of the cars which make up the fleet. This, she said, was very much appreciated.
But sadly most of the cars are more than 10-years-old and have become a constant source of stress for the team.
“One time I broke down in the middle of some roadworks because the car had completely conked out,” she continued.
“We were late giving treatment to someone right at the end of their life.
“I had to ring the family and tell them I’d be late and that was awful.
“A lot of what we do is psychological so we obviously don’t want any family to suffer anymore than they already are.”
Other incidents, she said, had included a nurse having to climb out of a window after a car’s electrics stopped working, while another had to push a car the final distance to a patient’s home.
“Last night, for example, we couldn’t go down the motorway because one of the cars was making a noise that made me think it wouldn’t be safe,” she said.
“It’s all just extra time added on to a journey.”
The selfless Hest Bank resident founded the Hospice at Home team after a patient revealed he would rather die in familiar surroundings.
She accompanied him home and cared for him in his final days and, later that year, the team was made ‘official’.
“We need to keep offering this service because people don’t always want to die in hospital,” she added.
“Even the Hospice, which is lovely, is not for everyone. “It’s just so important we get these new cars. It would really mean the world to us.”
To donate to the Westmorland Gazette’s Driving Hospice Care campaign send cheques made payable to Driving Hospice Care to Anna Clarke, The Westmorland Gazette, 1 Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4DP.
Cheques should be marked on the back ‘Driving Hospice Care’.
Please include your name, full postal address, telephone number and email address.
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