Annie Wells MSP didn’t know that much about hospice care until her ex mother-in-law Myra Macfarlan was a patient at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.
“Originally she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, she was treated for that and made a partial recovery and went into remission, but then she developed a brain tumour,” said Annie.
“There was quite a long time when she needed the help and support of the hospice, and her husband, the family and all the grandkids were really grateful for that."
“A lot of the care I remember her getting was at home, the relationship she built up with those caring for her made a huge difference to Myra and her life at home. It got to a stage where they became part of the family, and it was very comforting for everyone to know there was someone there really taking care of her."
“That continued when she came into the hospice. My son came to visit his gran in the hospice at Carlton Place and he wasn’t sure what to expect. He thought he was going into a hospital to visit his gran, it was really comforting to know that it is a place where life still goes on and it is welcoming for the patient as well as for all the family. "
“Her husband kept in touch with the hospice after she passed away and he did receive a lot of help and support. It meant a lot to the whole family – the care they received as well. Even things like after she passed away and getting all the equipment out of the house, that was all done very sensitively."
“Near the end, when she needed a lot of care, her husband always knew that there was someone there from the hospice if he needed them.”
Annie said she always imagined a hospice to be like a hospital.
“It’s a place that’s there to help and support. No matter what you need or how long you need it for, it’s there, it’s welcoming and it’s an environment that if it was me personally and I had to make a choice, it would be a hospice I would choose,” she said.
“I just think hospice care is so important –without hospices throughout the length and breadth of the country, the NHS would be under so much pressure. It’s right that we look at what hospice care is and that it is supported financially, as well as the NHS, to help people in those times when they need it most.”