Caring for stroke patients during Coronavirus crisis

The Acute Stroke and Rehab Unit has made some extensive changes to care for those in need during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Clare Fisher, a sister on the unit, said: “I am so proud of the staff and how we have all come together to ensure the patients are well looked after and that their relatives are updated and involved as much as possible.

“We have had a weekly quiz every Sunday to keep the patients’ spirits up and this has been engaged with so well by patients and staff.

“It really has boosted morale and helped with the patients’ boredom and frustrations and we will definitely carry this on even after lockdown! There has also been prizes given to the bays who won.

“We made a promise amongst all staff that throughout this and in normal times we will ensure that no patient dies alone.

“Some staff including myself have sat holding a patient’s hands for hours ensuring they were with someone.

“We have done numerous video calls to many relatives so they can have final words or see their relatives for the final time.

“We have asked relatives what music they liked and ensured this was playing in their final hours. We have also organised for one lady’s special pyjamas to be made into a pillow for her granddaughter.

“Sister Lisa Ingham bought some bereavement cards and we have written personal messages in the cards to let relatives know who was with their family member when they passed. We also include a note on what we did for their relative such as putting on their favourite perfume, lipstick and music. We do so much to make sure patient’s die peacefully.’’

Clare added: “Leanne Macefield, our Ward Manager, created a poem that has been shared for a pick me up and reminder to staff and this has now been shared Trust wide.

“Sister Tracey Brown also purchased special hearts to put in a patient’s hands for when they pass.

“They were then cleaned and sent with the patient’s property so that families can have some sort of feeling they were there holding their relatives hand at the time.”

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