Getting care right

On 6th June my mother passed away, it was not unexpected and came after a long battle with cancer, she was 69. To some extent whilst it was her time, and she passed where she wanted to be, at home with us, was comforting, it is still a shock and it feels as if she has taken from us far too early. Particularly when I look through the statistics, other than things like cancer, she and we could have expected another 15 or so years together. It’s also a strange thing I’ve found that it’s not so much the kindness shown by friends, family and colleagues, which is much appreciated but the kindness of strangers that sort of really catches you unawares at these moments.

At what, over the past few weeks, seems like ‘far too close a quarter’, I have seen how ‘the system’ works at such difficult times and on the whole I have to say it seems to work well. Having said our goodbyes to the Oncology Consultants at Addenbrookes the week before, as mum grew too ill to have more treatment, it was her wish to die at home. Between her GP, the St. Nicholas Hospice at Bury St. Edmunds, the Macmillan nurses, the community nurses, social services, the occupational therapists who supplier the various equipment, the domiciliary care providers, the 111 call centre, the out of hours doctors service, and the ambulance service paramedics and police officer who handled that emergency call right at the end, then the Coroner’s office staff and the registry staff, all were very timely, thoughtful, caring and kind.

That is, of course, a lot of people, organisations and different systems and to some extent, it helped me have some confidence in the system that as each layer of service was provided I knew who was the provider, what was meant to happen and was able to gentle guide my father as things needed arranging. I suppose I also had the comfort that if something did not happen I probably knew which Director or CE to call and probably have their direct number to make that call, but the system did come together and made her final wishes happen.

Sometimes as you sit in some distant conference room in this or that Board meeting discussing policy on how the social care and health system must work towards better integration. Moments in your life like this do remind you of the why we must get these things right and must make sure systems do come together, that the resources are there to make it happen and that people are enabled to show the sort of kindness shown to my mum and my family.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, BurySt. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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