A WOMAN whose husband was cared for at Prospect Hospice at the end of his life has said a big thank you.

Liz Dabner, 39, who works at The Academy at Great Western Hospital, is thanking the Wroughton-based hospice during national Hospice Care Week, during which hospices across Britain are highlighting the range of the services they provide with the theme ‘Be Surprised’ – a sentiment which echoes strongly for Liz and her family’s experience of Prospect’s care.

For Liz, Derek’s admission to Prospect’s in-patient unit was one she had strong misgivings about, yet these were quickly reversed once he arrived.

She said: “I had reservations, certainly, more so than Derek did, because he had talked with our GP, and had been reassured that a referral to the hospice would be a good thing. I wasn’t so sure.

“What I found was a friendly, fresh, airy and relaxed place, with highly professional caring staff. There was none of the doom and gloom that I had been expecting.”

Being at the hospice meant Derek was able to access the support he needed as soon as he arrived there,” said Liz.

“He was made to feel safe, and he had space, with excellent, immediate medical and nursing care.

“For me, the hospice allowed me to be Derek’s wife again. This was so important – yet I was still kept fully informed, and my input in his care was always welcomed.

“We felt very safe and protected in the hospice, allowing us precious time and space to be a family.”

A key figure in Derek’s care was the Prospect Hospice community nurse specialist, Steph, who Derek met very soon after his cancer had been diagnosed, and who was the key contact between the Dabners and the hospice throughout his illness.

“She was incredible, and a breath of fresh air,” said Liz.

“Derek felt really supported by her, and relied on her heavily.

“She treated him as an individual, and appreciated his strong personality and the importance of him being in control.

“We both felt safe and supported by her.”

Liz was also surprised to learn that when Derek died, care remained available to her and daughters, Grace and Jasmine, through the family support team.

The family’s appreciation inspired friends, family and work colleagues to raise money for Prospect while Derek was battling his illness and in the months after he died.

Liz said: “Family and friends have carried on arranging events to raise money for the hospice, and it reminds us how much Derek meant to people and, I hope, all the good the hospice has done for us as a family.

“I hope that, through talking to others, I have changed opinions about the hospice by sharing my positive experiences.

“I always thought the best place to die would be at home but, without a doubt, I know now I would choose the hospice for myself and my family.”

For more information on Hospice Care Week, visit prospect-hospice.net.