Sunday, 01 August 2021

Hospice care meant my husband had ‘good death’

Hospice care meant my husband had ‘good death’

A WOMAN who urged Sue Ryder not to shut its Nettlebed hospice says she is delighted that campaigners are still pressing for an alternative.

Renee Smith, of Hop Gardens, Henley, lost her husband Noel to prostate cancer in November 2015 and says it would have been traumatic to look after him at home.

Mr Smith, 92, had suffered two strokes and required medication by intravenous drip so his wife was relieved he could spend his final days at Joyce Grove.

She says that because of the care he received, he had a “good death” and remained alert enough for conversation until the end.

Mrs Smith, who was married for 58 years, believes there is still a need for a bedded unit in South Oxfordshire and that the proposal for two NHS beds at Wallingford will not meet this.

Mrs Smith said: “I’m very much behind this campaign and will be watching its progress. Joyce Grove wasn’t an ideal building but we need a purpose-built facility.

“My husband was able to pass away peacefully in that hospice and others deserve the same at a time when you’re up all night dealing with medication and things like that. It’s all very well saying ‘use the hub’ but that doesn’t provide what you need, when you need it. People want to pass away in comfort and I’m so glad that I’ll always remember my husband’s death in that way.

“It made me so angry when they said there was no demand for beds because there are hospices in other areas and the need surely can’t be any different here.”

Mrs Smith was among scores of people who shared their concerns with the Henley Standard when the closure was announced, although others have praised the outpatient hub, saying it has allowed their loved ones to die at home in accordance with their wishes.

Town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, one of the campaigners, said: “We’ve are extremely pleased with the support we’re getting. More and more people are telling us that during a loved one’s last days, they weren’t offered inpatient care even though they would have wanted it. They say even a short stay would have relieved pressure on their families so there is a need for this provision.”

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