Project helps patients’ wishes come true

3 Wishes launch photo. It is a group shot of people in a courtyard garden, holding balloons spelling out 3 Wishes. They are also holding a giant cheque for £10,000

Published on 23 November

A project aiming to bring comfort to people who die in critical care, and their families, has been launched by East Kent Hospitals.

The Trust is the first in the country to pilot the 3 Wishes Project, which was launched at the William Harvey Hospital on Wednesday.

Funded by East Kent Hospitals Charity, thanks to a generous £10,000 donation from Kent-based construction firm Bauvill, the project allows medical staff to grant ‘wishes’ to patients at the end of their life.

It was founded at a hospital in Ontario, Canada, and also used at UCLA in America, where hospital staff found it helped them demonstrate kindness and compassion to their patients. Wishes can include creating a personalised environment with photos, lighting and music, making keepsakes for families, or encouraging connections with family, friends or pets.

Critical Care doctor Priyanka Uppal said the team were looking forward to being able to grant wishes and help families.

She said: “We are really excited to take this forward and we hope it is going to bring comfort to our patients and relatives, and to the team who have been through a tough couple of years.

“It really will enhance the end-of-life care we provide on the unit and allow us to make a real difference to people’s experience.”

She thanked Bauvill for their donation and support of the project. Representatives from the company joined other members of the Critical Care team, including consultant Ruth Tighe, ward managers Natalie Daly and Bobbie Obbard, and the charity for the launch on Wednesday.

The project will be rolled out to the other sites in the future, and Bauvill have made a commitment to continue to support it as their charity of the year.

Associate director Matt Gurr said: “We wanted to give something back to the Critical Care Unit and to William Harvey Hospital as a whole.

“Last year, when Covid took a grip of the hospital and the world, Bauvill committed to stay on site and help keep the hospital teams operational whilst responding to the pandemic.

“When the charity approached us to support this project, we were delighted to be able to help with a cause that holds sentiment to us as a business and as individuals. We look forward to supporting East Kent Hospitals Charity and the 3 Wishes Project as our nominated charity of 2022.”

Find out more about the project here: https://www.ekhcharity.org.uk/critical-care/