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A Nurse
Employee of West Essex about Dying Matters



A nurse tells us about Mrs. J and how, together, they made plans for the last days of her life using the “preferred priorities for care” document

Mrs J was an 89 year old lady who had moved from her home to live with her daughter. Mrs J had cancer of the breast which she had been treated for five years earlier but when I met her she had secondary cancers in her lungs and liver. A social worker contacted me to say that Mrs. J’s daughter had asked social services about a care package. Mrs J had expressed to the social worker during her assessment visit that she wanted to stay at the daughter’s home to die. The social worker asked me if I would become involved in Mrs J’s case and help her to complete the “preferred priorities for care” document. It’s a structured way of going through the needs and desires of a patient and their family, so as to ensure that their last weeks of life are played out in a way that is right for them.

We all got together at the daughter’s home and had the opportunity to discuss with Mrs J what her wishes for the future were. It became apparent she required a lot more nursing care if she was to stay at home. In discussing the issues we were able to complete the PPC document with Mrs J and also provide her and her daughter an understanding of each others wishes and expectations.

Mrs J had stated that she did not want to return to her home and recognised she was reaching the end of her life. In working together with Mrs J the social worker and I formed a collaboration of services which resulted in funding for Mrs J to receive care where she wanted to be and in put from other community services. It was also arranged for respite provision so the daughter could attend her son’s home coming from Bosnia where he had been serving in the forces. A short break Mrs J’s family thought they would have to for fit as a result of the increase of care. In the collaboration we created an environment that made not only Mrs J feel safe and comfortable at home but her daughter able to have trust in the services provided to leave mum.

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