Making a heart-breaking time more bearable

“We were so grateful we had Rowcroft”

We often hear it said how Rowcroft’s care teams focus on the person, not the patient. Here Donna Hawkins explains how Rowcroft’s care teams did just that for her dad, Mark, before he passed away from cancer last year in Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit.

A loving gentleman

“Dad was first and foremost a loving family man and husband. We all thought the world of him. When we found out he had cancer, it felt like the rug had been pulled out from under us all.

“There couldn’t have been a worse time to be hit with this – it was right in the middle of the pandemic. There were so many rules that meant we couldn’t all be together or support him in the way that we would have liked.”

How Rowcroft cared for Mark

“Dad received care and support from Rowcroft at home, and later at the hospice. He relied heavily on the care, advice and support that they gave him, and they provided reassurance to the whole family. The nurses and care teams were phenomenal, I can’t put it into words. They respected his choices all the time and they kept him in control of his care. Nobody treated him like a patient; they treated him like a gentleman who needed some help. The care they gave was personal, they got to know him as the person he was, and they enabled him to keep his dignity, and to die with dignity.

“All of our family are so grateful we had Rowcroft – they couldn’t take the cancer away, but they made a heart-breaking time more bearable, more respectful and made dad’s last months more comfortable and less scary.”

Rowcroft’s wonderful care teams

Tracey Hurley with clinical mask on

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Tracey Hurley

Clinical Nurse Specialist Tracey Hurley is a member of the Community Team who, along with Dr Sarah Human and others in the team, supported Mark and his family. Dr Sarah said:

“It is lovely to hear from Donna about the care we were able to provide for her father, Mark. It is important to us to know about people’s experiences of our services and very humbling to read Donna’s words. “We hope, in palliative care, to provide truly holistic care that encompasses the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of our patients. I believe we were able to do this for Mark and his family. They were supported by our hospice Community Team, with input from our specialist nurses, doctors, complementary therapists, occupational and physiotherapists, social workers and bereavement team. Mark was also cared for by our Inpatient Unit team during periods of admission to the hospice, including when he passed away. My clinical nurse specialist colleague, Tracey, played a key role throughout in supporting Mark and his family. She was able to weave together all the different threads of his care, linking in with his GP and hospital specialists too, so that the support we gave was tailor-made for him.”

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