Friday, 05 June 2020

This is Henley’s and patients’ loss... what a shame it couldn’t be saved’

THE news that the Sue Ryder hospice is to close prompted anger and sadness among visitors to the Henley Standard’s Facebook page.

Christine Atkinson, from Shiplake, said: “This is a tragedy. Going to a hospice at the end of your life is something that quite a few people I know have wanted to do.

“It’s understandable that Joyce Grove isn’t the right building for medical purposes, but there is plenty of room for a new specially designed centre to be built in the grounds.

“Many who have lost friends and family like to return to Joyce Grove to remember them as it is a peaceful and quiet space to reflect. I volunteered for a while with the drop-off and storage of goods for the sales, which will also be greatly missed.

“Please consider replacing it in this area. Home care is fabulous but at a certain point many people prefer to be away from home to get the best medical help. There is nowhere like it nearby.”

Cath Fawcett, a former palliative care nurse from Henley, said: “What a sad and disappointing announcement — this is such an enormous loss for South Oxfordshire.

“Asking members of the public’s preference when they are well is quite different from asking patients and families who are receiving end-of-life care. I understand the cost of maintaining an old building and it’s a travesty the unit couldn’t be relocated to a local, purpose-built establishment. This is Henley’s loss and patients’ loss — what a shame it couldn’t be saved.

“I have nothing but praise for the ward staff who cared for a family member at the end of last year.”

Faye Baxter, from Henley, said: “What a shame. It’s such a fantastic facility which took so much care of my mum, who said she felt very safe there.”

Writing on the hospice’s Facebook page, former volunteer Anthony Fletcher said: “I would have been happy to have ‘shaken off my mortal coils’ here, sadly no longer an option. A more viable, purpose-built replacement will probably still be needed.”

Kirsty Wood added: “My mum thought she wanted to die at home until she found the reality of the poor end-of-life care system which was significantly lacking and put huge pressure on family to be the nurses.

“She then elected to move to Nettlebed because it was so much better for us all but mostly for her to have appropriate 24-hour care.

“You can’t always foresee these things when you aren’t at the stage of needing this level of care. Such a shame to lose this incredible hospice.”

Bevv Nzukiz, a palliative care nurse working at the hospice, said: “Only worked here a year but it feels like forever and I don’t think I’ll find another great place to work.

“I loved every minute working here and wake up every morning looking forward to work.

“I’m so sad and angry at the same time — I believe our work is not done. There are people out there who need our care and it isn’t safe or appropriate to care for them at home.”

Sam Booker added: “Shame the staff were fobbed off until the last minute. Now everyone has to find new jobs in less than two months.”

Emma Hawkins said: “This is very sad. I understand why this is being done but my dad wouldn’t have been able to be cared for at home. Sue Ryder was lovely.”

Theresa Holland responded: “Neither was my mum and this was so in quite a few cases. Originally there was going to be beds elsewhere. I’m absolutely disgusted with the bosses at Sue Ryder — they totally misled people.”

Kate Lole said: “What a loss this will be. My mother wished to be cared for at home at the end of her life but this just wasn’t possible living alone. Nettlebed provided amazing care and compassion in her last weeks.

“I think she summed it up perfectly when she told us she felt safe and contented. I hope there will be inpatient beds available for those unable to stay at home.”

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