Best practices for end-of-life patients
David Turpin’s father Derek urgently needed to move from hospital to a good care home during the final days of his life. Mr Turpin explains what the CHS Healthcare advisers did for him and his family.
“Dad was a police officer, with nine commendations, a long and successful career. Six years ago, he had a stroke and during the last two months of his life, things went downhill very quickly. By the time he went into Southampton General Hospital, his physical and mental health had really deteriorated. We knew he wouldn’t ever recover enough to go back home.
“We got to a stage when the doctors explained they couldn’t do anything else for him. We were told there was a package of relocation support and we needed to find a place in a care home. You are already stressed and emotional and on top of this, you don’t know how you’ll manage to find a good care home.
“At about 4pm that day, a woman called Melissa called me, explaining that she was from a company called CHS Healthcare and would be supporting us. I was very worried about the quality of some care homes and asked her to find two or three places for us. I asked her to only consider homes she would choose for her own parents. She explained that she would get working on it straight away and a colleague would call again in the morning.
“That’s exactly what happened – at 10:30am then next day, I was called by a lady called Janice from CHS Healthcare. Already, they had found three care homes for us and made appointments to see them that day. Two hours later, Janice came and picked us up for these appointments.
“The quality of all three care homes was very good – they had listened carefully to what I said. By the end of that day, we had chosen one home; a small, friendly care home which was happy to take in Dad, even though we knew he would not live for long.
“The assessments which were necessary took place the next day and the day after that, Dad moved into the home. He was only there for 14 hours before he passed away. He died peacefully and with great dignity, surrounded by his family, in a lovely room.
“I can’t put into words how much it means to us. We couldn’t have managed without Melissa and Janice. Mum is 86 and would not have been able to find a home herself. I was worried about the quality of care homes and finding one that would be right for me. The CHS Healthcare advisers listened, understood exactly what I meant and found exactly what I hoped for.
“They did it all in just four days – from the first contact with us, through to seeing homes the next day, the assessments the day after that and moving in the day after that. It almost seemed too good to be true. They went above and beyond the call of duty and even called Mum to see how she was and sending a sympathy card for Dad.
“I am so deeply grateful to these advisers and I hope more people can be helped in the same way. It really was a fantastic service provided by the most dedicated people.
“Now we have had a funeral for Dad, we can reflect that Dad was able to pass away peacefully in the right place for him. Where your loved one is when the pass away is unmeasurably important – if they are in comfort and at peace, that brings comfort and peace for their whole family. Because the timescales were so short, it simply wouldn’t have been possible to achieve that without your team.”