Hospital introduces ‘comfort trolleys’ for the families of palliative care patients

The trolleys include; light snacks, tea, coffee and toiletry items for relatives to freshen up.

Ian Snug
9 July 2019
comfort trolleys' for the family of dying patients

The trolley gives families a little bit of comfort during a very difficult time.

A hospital has introduced ‘comfort trolleys’ for relatives sitting with patients who are nearing the end of life.

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Staff on Ward 2 at the Lurgan Hospital in Northern Ireland launched the initiative after they noticed that many visitors were often reluctant to leave the side of dying relatives or ask ‘busy staff’ for help.

The trolleys, which is left in the rooms of patients nearing the end of their lives, includes; light snacks, tea, coffee and toiletry items for relatives to freshen up.

A senior nurse for the trust praised the team saying the initiative has given families “a little bit of comfort during a very difficult time”.

They are now available on all wards in Lurgan and Loane House, South Tyrone Hospital having won a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition for funding at the Trust’s Quality Improvement Event last year.

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Showing great compassion.

Pat Nugent, Head of Service for the Southern Trust’s Non-Acute Hospitals explains: “As a Non Acute Hospital, our team at Lurgan specialise in offering high-quality rehabilitation services.”

“In some cases, patients are sadly unable to rehabilitate and can deteriorate to the stage of requiring end of life care, known as Palliative Care. As a very emotional time for the whole family, this involves looking after the patient as well as their loved ones, with great compassion.

“Understandably, families want to spend as much time as possible with their loved one at the end of life and we do everything we can to allow this, supporting them with their emotional as well as physical needs.

“Often families don’t want to leave their relative to go for refreshments during their last hours or don’t want to ask staff, who they feel are already very busy looking after patients.

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“The Trolley which is left in the patient’s room for families to help themselves is a very simple and inexpensive solution.

“I sincerely thank those staff members who came up with this concept which will go a long way in offering a little bit of comfort during a very difficult time.”

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