Just about as near perfection as you can expect

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Just about as near perfection as you can expect.


I knew nothing about St Francis Hospice when my wife was told that she should have some time in the hospice to deal with her bladder cancer. The thing that started making St Francis Hospice so special to me is a short conversation I had when I took my wife Mary to be a patient there.


A staff lady had shown us round the place and then taken us to where Mary was to have her bed. Then she said, “Any questions?” Me, “What are the visiting hours?” Staff lady, “We don’t have visiting hours, come when you like. But avoid mornings if you can because that is when we do most of the treatment. We can arrange overnight accommodation, if necessary.” I was amazed and delighted. What a difference from hospitals! It seemed that visitors to patients were welcome. I visited Mary for the first time on the following afternoon and again on every afternoon she was in the hospice: I was always made welcome and could stay for as long as I liked.

Mary had four weeks in the hospice, and then came home; well pleased with the way she had been treated while she was a patient there. On my afternoon visits I learnt much more about the way the hospice runs, and how very good it is. The way the staff treat the patients is very good, just about as near perfection as you can expect in this world.

After Mary came home I learnt another very good thing about the hospice: how well they keep in touch with discharged patients and continue to look after them. Not only do they send nurses to check the patient if necessary, but they are always available for phone calls from the patient’s carer for help and advice. They can arrange carers for the patient’s daily routine needs.

All the treatment and care given by the hospice is free of charge: the ultimate good thing. This makes it essential for there to be very good fund raising. Regular donations from ordinary folk are an important part of this. I make a monthly donation under the hospice scheme. My ultimate contribution will be a legacy, part of my estate, when I leave this life.