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A really interesting article in praise of end of life care at home, written by Johnathan Freedland and published in the Guardian in May 2012.
In praise of end of life care at home
In death – as in life – my mother was rescued by love. Nearly 11 years have passed since I last broke my own rule and wrote in this place about something deeply personal. Then, in the summer of 2001, it was the birth of my first child and the article was a hymn of praise for the National Health Service that had ushered my son into the world.
Today I write about my mother, who died 10 days ago. Once again – though this is not my only aim – I want to record my praise, even awe, for the people who looked after her. It was not so straightforward this time. Yes, the NHS funded it all, but my mother was tended to – at home in Bournemouth – by a variety of agencies, some public, some voluntary and one private.
I confess that before this experience, I would have been wary of such an arrangement. But my prejudices were confounded. The team worked together with perfect efficiency, a coalition of Macmillan and Marie Curie nurses, agency staff, NHS district nurses and care assistants and the local GP. Not once did any information slip through the cracks. It meant we could fulfil our promise to my mother that she would spend her last weeks not in hospital or in a hospice, but at home.
At no point, despite all the equipment and expertise that came through the front door, was money so much as mentioned. Never were we confronted with a choice of a cheaper option or a limit to our “cover”. My mother got all the care she needed and no one presented her or us with a bill. That is the glory of our national health system, one we take for granted too easily. It is a treasure to be cherished.