Care packs help support to relatives of dying patients

Relatives who visit dying patients in East Kent hospitals will be offered basic comforts to help them through their stay.

Experience has shown that relatives often spend prolonged time in hospital when their loved ones are at the end-of-life, and Comfort Packs have been designed to support the essential comfort and dignity of family members staying with their loved ones.

 Jan Hyde, Macmillan End of Life Care Facilitator, says: “The care packs are aimed at reducing anxiety for relatives and friends who have no essential items with them, but who don’t want to leave the bedside of their loved ones.

“The act of being able to give the packs to relatives and friends during this difficult time also helps staff to open up conversations.”

The packs include basic toiletries such as deodorant, wipes, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Jan added: “We are so grateful to the Patricia Morley Fund, for supporting this project and our wider Compassion project.”

The trust’s end-of-life clinical lead, Sue Cook, said: "Those of us who work in the NHS have a duty to ensure that our patients are cared for with dignity, respect and compassion until they die.

"That’s why the Compassion Project and its symbol are so important to us and all who help those approaching the end of their lives."

The initiative - designed to encourage dignity and respect - has been devised by the east Kent hospitals trust and the Pilgrim’s Hospice to provide further comfort to those receiving end-of-life care and their families.

The Patricia Morley Fund offers support to develop small projects aimed at improving end-of-life care and is named after a long standing Trustee of Pilgrims Hospices, who worked tirelessly to promote excellent nursing. Pilgrims Hospices added: “We owe much to her dedication, loyalty, generosity and determination to ensure the continuation of excellent nursing within the profession she loved, and to which she gave so much.”