“Many people think a hospice is just a building, where people come to die,” says Tony Carpenter, Head of Marketing and Communications at Phyllis Tuckwell. “We want to start to challenge that idea, and over the next months will be showing the variety of care and support which we offer, not only to our patients, but to their families and carers as well.”
Local video producer Jack Taylor, whose Twitter offer to help a local charity for free was snapped up by the Hospice, also had the same misconceptions. However, after having a look around the Hospice and meeting its staff and patients, he soon changed his mind. “Visiting the Hospice blew me away,” he confessed. “It was an eye-opening experience. Your team are amazing.”
Jack’s visit showed him the specialist end of life care which the Hospice offers to its patients in the community and at home, as well as at the Hospice itself. He saw how its doctors and nurses help manage patients’ symptoms and control their pain, while its therapists help keep them mobile and independent, advising on coping with fatigue, stress and anxiety, and relieving pain and discomfort through treatments such as massage and reflexology. Hospice social workers offer practical support, from applying for car disability badges to ensuring that patients are receiving the correct State benefits, while its counsellors and chaplains offer emotional and spiritual support.
After much discussion, it was decided that the best approach would be to show a patient’s perspective of the Hospice. Cancer patient John Maturin was delighted to give his own personal account of his experiences of Phyllis Tuckwell. Along with his daughter Hanna, John talked about how the Hospice had come into their lives in their hour of need, offering medical care in the form of pain relief and symptom management, as well as emotional and practical support.
“I think people have a conception of hospices as places where people go to die” says John. “But I couldn’t have been more wrong. This really is a happy place. It’s not a place to die, it’s a place to live, and to live for as long as you possibly can.”
The video, which was launched in mid-February, has already had over 2,000 views on Facebook and nearly 100 on YouTube. To see the video, visit the Hospice YouTube channel (PTHospice) at www.youtube.co.uk/pthospice, the PTH website www.pth.org.uk, PTH’s Facebook page or the Jack Taylor Productions website http://www.jacktaylorproductions.com