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  • Patients come to the Hospice for lots of reasons, not just at the end of their lives

Patients come to the Hospice for lots of reasons, not just at the end of their lives

Thames Hospice provides expert medical, nursing and therapeutic care to adults who have life-limiting illnesses, such as Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s and other long term diseases, including cancer.

Patients come to the Hospice for lots of reasons, not just at the end of their lives.  It could be they need a blood transfusion, symptom control or respite. A lot of patients come to us for a number of years and we get to know them and their loved ones very well.


The Hospice promotes patient-centred care, which is about enabling the person to do what they want in the way that they want, from the point of diagnosis to the end of their life. I always try to imagine myself in the patient’s position and treat them how I would like to be treated.


A patient with Motor Neurone Disease once told me that when they were in hospital, it infuriated them to be moved around all the time without being asked or told where they were being moved to. This patient was coming to terms with the fact they had lost the use of one arm and their legs in a short space of time, which was already extremely frustrating. However, the most annoying thing for them was that they had to rely on somebody else to feed them.


At Thames Hospice, we specialise in treating patients with life-limiting illnesses so are able to suggest alternatives.  In this case, we advised the patient that we could put a plate guard around their food, which would stop it being pushed off the plate.  We could also give them a modified spoon, enabling them to feed themselves. The patient was delighted and ate their meals by themselves for the rest of their stay.  It did take the patient longer than it would you or I to eat their food, but they were able to maintain their independence at that stage of their illness and that meant everything to them.


Having so many experts in one place, whose skills we can draw on in an intensive time period, separates us from hospital care and is what is so special about the expert care and everyday kindness we deliver.

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