Mountbatten Hospice Heroes: Still here for you

A Mountbatten Nurse has been speaking about being part of the community team which is supporting patients who are dying with COVID-19 in their own homes and care homes.  

Karen Shutler has been caring for people for 25 years. “I am very used to death and dying, but this is something that no-one has ever seen before,” she said.  

Visits to people’s homes and care homes can take place at any time of the day or night. The team manages a patient’s symptoms but also offer emotional support to care home staff and family members who may then suffer a bereavement.   

The team is highly responsive and attends rapidly when called. Karen said; “It can be stressful, going into a home and you haven’t had the chance to build up the rapport that you would usually.”  

“You don’t know if the patient is COVID+ or not, so we wear PPE every time. On a practical level, you can’t always see out of your visor, it can steam up and it gets hot. It’s not pleasant and you get very dehydrated. Everything is harder,” Karen added. 

“When we come back to base, we take off our scrubs and take a shower to decontaminate ourselves,” Karen said.  

But despite the challenges, Karen is proud of the whole team’s achievements particularly the recent support they were able to give to a man who was coming to the end of his life at a care home. “Care home staff are working in really difficult conditions, and we are working alongside them to provide end of life care. This particular patient had been quite distressed and we were able to assist with the control of his symptoms very quickly which settled him. When we returned, he was much more at rest and he later died peacefully.”  

Because of your donations to our coronavirus appeal, you are helping us to care for people at the end of their lives in care homes. Your donations mean our teams can rapidly respond to give pain relief to patients and support to staff and families.   Thank you.  

Please help to continue our work, please donate now.