This is how hospital staff in South Tyneside and Sunderland are bringing extra comfort to families at end of life

End of life care facilitators Sharon Rooney Christine Kelley.
End of life care facilitators Sharon Rooney Christine Kelley.

Relatives and carers whose loved ones are receiving end of life care in hospital in South Tyneside and Sunderland are being offered a ‘comfort care’ pack, showing them that they are being thought about during a difficult time.

The packs, available at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital, contain practical items not usually supplied by the NHS.

These include a small pillow, a blanket, toothpaste and toothbrush, biscuits, tea and coffee, hand wipes, and pen and paper to aid communication with the patient.

Louise Burn, deputy director of Nursing and Patient Experience, said: “Our comfort care packs have a practical purpose, helping relatives and carers who are staying overnight so they can spend as much time as possible with their loved ones.

“They also have great value in demonstrating that, no matter how busy they are, our staff recognise the stress families are under and how vulnerable they may feel, and that they are thinking of their needs as well as those of their loved ones at this very difficult and emotional time.”

One pack is available per family and each includes a brief survey for feedback on the usefulness of the contents and suggestions for other items.

The packs are being paid for through South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts’ charitable funds.