A MALVERN widower has called for more government funding for hospices supporting patients to die at home following the ‘exceptional’ care for his late wife.
Colin Clarke, of Hanley Swan, praised St Richard’s Hospice for pulling out all the stops to support him and his wife, Sue, particularly when he could no longer cope with caring for her during the last month of her life.
Mrs Clarke was referred to St Richard’s Hospice by her Upton GP after being diagnosed with cancer shortly after her 70th birthday in June last year.
The pair had been married for 47 years before she died in her sleep in January this year but Mr Clarke praised the work of the Wildwood Drive site.
“Among all the stress it was a breath of fresh air,” he said. “Sue thought it was amazing.
“Sue wanted to stay in our own bedroom and to die at home.
“She wanted our sons Giles and Tim to sleep alternately at the house as she became very ill over the last seven days they took it in turns to stay at the house.
“Sue died in her sleep at home, exactly where she wanted to be, but lots of people would like to die at home in this way but are not given the opportunity.”
More than £1,000 was raised for St Richard’s from a collection at Mrs Clarke’s funeral which will be donated towards the charity’s care of patients and families.
“There are so many other people who don’t access the kind of support we had and would have to go into hospital even though it is not always the most appropriate place,” Mr Clarke added.
“The NHS is very good, but hospital is not always the best place for dying patients.
“If the Government wants to free up more beds then they need to get palliative patients out of the wards.
“The need to give hospices such as St Richard’s more funding so people can be cared for at home if that is what they want.”