The team on the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) Thrushel at Derriford Hospital wish to say a very special thank you to the family and friends of the late Mr Phil Whitton for their kind donation, which was used to purchase radios for the bays and cubicles.
Mr Whitton sadly passed away in May 2017 whilst on the MAU Thrushel, where he was given end of life care by the team on the unit.
Mr Whitton’s daughter-in-law, Caroline, described: “Phil had been in hospital for some time before, on Meldon and Braunton, where his care was also amazing, and he was then discharged to Liskeard, with a view of getting him back on his feet and being closer to home.
“Sadly, he deteriorated quickly and came back to Derriford and he was only on MAU for a few hours when it became clear that he would not recover and that end of life care was needed.
“Phil has a very large family living locally, all of whom, understandably, wanted to say our goodbyes. The staff made us all feel very welcome, offering comfort and refreshments. In his final hours, his nurse Charlotte was a godsend to the family. Giving support with explanation and gestures of comfort, whilst continuing to keep Phil comfortable and providing his care.”
Caroline, who is a Specialist Cystic Fibrosis Nurse, added: “I know myself how hard end of life care is, especially when in an area that you don’t have all the facilities to make it easier, but the small gestures of kindness, made by the staff, made the difference.”
“We were very touched by this, as we don’t normally receive donations on MAU, as patients are not with us very long,” said Nigel Booth, Ward Manager for MAU Thrushel. “When we received the cheque I contacted Mrs Whitton and asked if I could spend the money on something to benefit the patients and staff.
“I thought of radios for the bay and side room as we don’t have anything in the cubicles for patients and it can be extremely lonely.”
As a finishing touch, Nigel also got plaques made for each of the radios.
The radios have already been very well received by patients and staff alike on the MAU, with staff commenting what a difference they had made, especially with breaking the silence and reducing tension, as well as lifting morale.
Taking comfort from this, Caroline said on behalf of the family: “We are so pleased that the money has been used to benefit others and in such an appropriate way to remember Phil, as he loved music.”