Little did the team on the integrated Specialist Stroke Unit (Ward E1) at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust know when a patient arrived following a stroke that they would be instrumental in his recovery and marrying the woman of his dreams.
The challenge for the team was how to help one of their patients get married after he had missed his wedding due to illness and was not well enough to go home. The couple wanted to share their wedding with the ward as they felt the staff were like family and had been wonderful.
On the big day the patient was helped to dress in his suit and went in a wheelchair taxi to the register office while the team set to work making this the most memorable day of his life. The team thought creatively, with imagination and with ingenuity, and went above and beyond in showing commitment, compassion and care.
Jean Rogers, Practice Education Facilitator, said: “The ward clerk was the brainchild of the occasion. The nurses, doctors and therapists donated money towards this special occasion. The family provided the buffet whilst the ward staff made the room and garden fit for a wedding. Patients and families were also involved not only as part of their therapy with the occupational therapists but by providing plants for the garden and planting them.”
The Estates team came and cut the grass and volunteers, health care assistants, therapists and clerical staff did the decorating helped by the dietician who brought in lights and banners from her own wedding day.
All the staff, including the consultant, decorated the room with banners, balloons, signs and lights and even gave the wheelchair a makeover. Communication between all the different teams and the commitment of each member helped to make the wedding day happen.
Director of Nursing Judith Morris said: “The outcome was an overwhelmed patient, wife and 15 guests. The quote of the day from the wife was that the venue was unique and the reception was as good as any hotel. The whole unit including patients, relatives and staff were uplifted by the event. The teamwork was more than impressive and it goes to show what can be achieved if we all work together. The patient is now at home and recovering well and the staff work even more closely than they did before. It shows that everyone wants to strive for patients to have a warm and friendly caring environment as well as high quality treatment.”
Marie Batey, Head of Acute and Older People at NHS England, added: “This story really brings home the personal and individual aspects of care, and shows that compassion extends beyond clinical settings. A wedding day is a big and happy day but it takes energy, inspiration and leadership to pull it off. A hospital ward is one of the more unusual places to have a wedding reception, but the teamwork, commitment and compassion shown by the team on E1 stroke ward helped to bring a personal touch to a patient’s special day.”
If this story has made you think about sharing your own experiences for Story of The Month, find out how here:http://www.6cs.england.nhs.uk/pg/groups/66586/Celebrating+success/