Sussex nurse praised for going extra mile in care of dying patient
A staff nurse has received national praise for the exemplary care she gave to an end of life care patient who was missing her pet dog.
Rosemary Campbell was looking after a woman living out her last days at Worthing Hospital, which is run by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“She could enable the patient to feel safe and live out her last days contented and at peace”
The patient was desperately missing her dog Mutty, who had been placed in kennels but nobody knew where.
Ms Campbell decided to find the dog and began calling local kennels. She tracked down Mutty, took a photo, had it developed and framed, and returned the same day to give it to the patient.
Ms Campbell, who has worked on Buckingham Ward for 14 years, said: “I gave it to her and she had tears in her eyes, and she kept stroking the picture.
“She kept it on her bedside table until unfortunately she passed away, but at least she had her dog with her,” she added.
Ms Campbell’s actions touched colleagues who put her forward for the trust’s employee of the month, which she won. She was then nominated for and won NHS England’s “6Cs Story of the Month”, which is promoted across the health service and published online by Nursing Times.
Ms Campbell, 52, said: “It was part of my job, looking after the old lady and her feelings, and for them to recognise it is wonderful. I am really shocked to get an accolade from NHS England and the Nursing Times, but very, very proud.”
Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety at Western Sussex Hospitals, said: “We are very proud of Rosemary’s actions.
“It was a unique response to the needs of the patient and, whilst she couldn’t save her life, she could enable the patient to feel safe and live out her last days contented and at peace,” she said. “Her story has touched many staff at the trust.”
Marie Batey, head of acute and older people at NHS England, added: “It reminds us of the quote that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”