David's story

"I always felt I was being consulted and treated as an individual"

Before David Thomas sadly passed away, he told his story about his experience at Nettlebed Hospice
David Thomas was only 64 when he passed away. He’d had Motor Neurone Disease for two and a half years but he wasn’t going to let this cruel and debilitating illness stop him from studying for a Masters degree or meeting HRH Princess Anne in the last few weeks of his life.

“I have had MND for two and a half years but have been a type one diabetic for over 30 years. On arrival as an inpatient at Sue Ryder Nettlebed Hospice the nurses noted my diabetic problem and it was earmarked to a specific nurse. On my second morning I experienced a hypoglycaemic attack early in the morning. Once it had been rectified an enquiry was conducted into why it had occurred. Later that morning the two ward doctors convened a conference in my room it was attended by senior nursing staff the pharmacist and the chef. A plan was then formulated to prevent the repeat of the glycaemic attack.

During the formulation of the plan I was involved and consulted as to my own views and symptoms. ‘David, what gets rid of this best?’ ‘What does this best?’ It involved alteration to my diet, alteration to my feeding, including timing and specific types of food.

Person-centered care

It was the first time I had ever experienced such a thorough and integrated solution to my diabetic problems. The follow-up care by all staff, including the night staff was most thorough and painstaking. My experience at the hospice surpassed any other I have had in the NHS for quality care.

“Throughout my time here I always felt I was being consulted, people appreciated my problems and treated me as an individual. It is integrated care of the sort the NHS cannot support or surpass.

“Another example, when I first arrived they noticed I was a bit tall for the bed, and whereas at another hospital they might have been tempted to chop my legs off, here they found me a longer bed so I’d be more comfortable. When they knew my wife was visiting the nurses would make a special effort to give me a really good shave, use my deodorant and chose my nice clothes. My visitors are always offered a coffee; I always know who I am dealing with as people always introduce themselves.

“I have done my best since my discharge to publicise my excellent experience at Nettlebed Hospice. The quality of my experience at day therapy continues to mirror the excellence of my inpatient experience.”


Care services at Nettlebed Hospice