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Nurse helps to improve end of life care experience for patients and their families

The experience of patients receiving end-of-life care on a UHNM ward has been improved thanks to the efforts of a kind-hearted nurse.

After noticing families had nothing to take loved one’s medication and documents home in, Samantha Hanna, Advanced Nurse Practitioner on Ward 222 at the Royal Stoke, started making her own colourful bags with the help of family friends.

Samantha, who’s worked on the Respiratory ward since 2017 said: “Patients on end-of-life care leave us with their anticipatory medication, this is the medication they need when they’re coming to the end of their life to make them more comfortable. These are things like painkillers, something to stop them being sick and agitated, and something to help dry up their secretion. They also have all the necessary forms and patient information.

“This is all put into a plain bag and envelope. I started thinking, is there anything I can do about this to improve the experience of patients and their families, and thought why haven’t we got any nice bags to take it all home in.

“But I couldn’t sow, so I thought if I knew anybody who could. I brought a load of materials and mentioned it to my friend Sam from dance class who I know loves to sow.

“Not only did Sam and her son Bradley kindly agreed to help make the bags, but they also secured a donation of materials from Hobbycraft at Bridgemere Garden Centre and Abakhan in Hanley.”

“We’ve now made hundreds of bags and patients really like them. There’s lots of different designs for both men and women, which helps makes it more personal and less clinical.

“I feel it’s so important getting those final moments in life right. We celebratre people coming into the world, we need to do something similar when we leave it.”

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