Because of you...

Mel was there for local people when they needed support the most.

Mel Buckley is team leader of Prospect Hospice’s single point of contact team, the first point of call for accessing our services. These excerpts from her diary give a small insight into her week.


Call from Tom’s wife Jean. Tom has advanced dementia and last night he fell getting out of bed. She is distraught and doesn’t know what to do. One of our nurses calms her, while another calls for an ambulance. Jean is exhausted and worried that if she couldn’t cope, Tom would have to go into a home. I can feel her relief when I explain about the care we can provide for them.


My colleague Sarah triages a new referral – Liz, who is in so much pain she is unable to speak to her. Sarah quickly establishes what pain relief they have in the house and advises her husband. As the pain eases, Sarah is able to talk to Liz, establishing what matters most to her – which is remaining at home.


David has rapidly deteriorated unexpectedly overnight and a home visit is required straight away. When I arrive, my trained eye tells me all I need to know. I take a moment to prepare for the conversation I am about to have with him and gently take his hand. He stirs and shares the most beautiful smile with me. Gentle questions allow me to explore what he understands about his illness and how he thinks he is doing. He says: “I am dying my dear. I am not frightened and I am right where I want to be. This is where my wife died too”. His tummy is sore and he feels very sick. We talk about anti-sickness medication and morphine by injection so that he doesn’t have to worry about taking tablets.


I support a bereaved relative via email and reassure him that one of our team will meet with him. Sebastian calls to say his wife Evie has been told the treatment for her brain tumour is no longer working and nothing more can be done. They have three children, all at primary school. I quickly organise for our family support team to become involved, and we all focus on supporting Evie to get her home for Christmas. Time is going to be very precious for this family and this Christmas needs to be the best it can be.


Some weeks ago I took a call from a patient’s daughter, Tina, whose mum had recently been discharged from hospital. She was the sole carer for her mum and was at breaking point. I advised there was more that we could do to help at home and Tina agreed to more support to help her mum. This restored Tina’s confidence and today my colleague Carmen passes on a card with a box of chocolates from Tina. Tina expresses her thanks for my support and for taking the time to listen. “You have made us feel like we have known you for years. I had no idea what Prospect Hospice could do until I picked the phone up and called you, but boy I am glad I did. Everyone I have met and spoken to has been outstanding”.

What a nice way to end the week!

Because of you, Mel was there to support local people. Without you, she won’t be able to support everyone who needs her. To donate to Prospect Hospice, and support the work of the single point of contact team, and all our clinical teams, click here.