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Last days of life

Being told that you or your loved one is dying either after a long illness or unexpectedly can be a difficult time. When patients or their loved ones are told that they are in the last days to weeks of life the focus of their care will change and comfort will be the priority. You may notice that the ward staff stop doing routine observations (taking blood pressure, pulse and temperature), but instead regularly monitor the patient for symptoms such as pain or nausea. The ward team of doctors and nurses are available to give you information and support during this time.  If you have any questions or concerns please talk to a member of staff caring for your loved one. Information about the changes that occur in the final stages of a person's life and how we care for them can be found in the hospital leaflet 'When a person is dying in hospital'. Please ask the ward team if you have not been offered one of these leaflets, alternatively you can download one here. 

At this time, those closest to the dying person may wish to stay at the bedside for extended periods. Please talk to the ward team about visiting out of hours, access to the hospital at night and parking. Some people may also wish to stay overnight, the ward have access to sleeper chairs to accommodate overnight stays.

The Trust provides comfort boxes for those who have an extended stay at the hospital. These contain a small amount of snacks, tea and coffee making supplies and toiletries, as well as information about other services around the Trust. Please ask a member of staff if you have not been offered a comfort box. 

If you need to visit the hospital after 10pm then please note that access to the hospital is limited to the A&E department.