They are the nurses who have devoted themselves to the care and support of North Wales residents facing life limiting illnesses.
The Nightingale House nursing team have been familiar and friendly faces on the ward and Daycare unit of the Hospice since it officially opened its doors back in 1995.
For more than twenty years, their focus has been providing comfort to thousands of people – many of them in desperate situations – using specialist services, expert pain relief and most importantly, the power of friendship.
Now, with this year’s World Cancer Day just around the corner, the Nightingale House Nurses are urging people to remember end of life and Hospice care on a day that unites the world in the fight against cancer. Held every year on the 4th February, World Cancer Day is a global initiative aimed at improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease.
Hospice and end of life care has for a long time been associated with addressing cancer, with the modern Hospice movement striving to care for patients that the standard health system had previously dismissed.
The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day is We Can. I Can. and Nightingale House is actively encouraging people to talk about the issue with their nurses and clinical team working hard to support people at all stages of the cancer journey. And, while they admit that in many cases the most unacceptable gap in cancer support is the lack of adequate end of life care and access to pain relief, they stress that thanks to the dedication of the community they serve, that is not the case at Nightingale House.
“Here at Nightingale House, we are always striving to provide an excellence of care to improve the quality of life for our patients,” says Nurse Alison Roberts.
“In Wales, around 8,000 people will die from cancer every year and ultimately, our role is to be there for those who need us. “Emotional and psychological support are the main areas where people have needed help.
“Other people who have accessed our services have had issues around finances, work, carers and other practical concerns but regardless of the question or worry we will be here 24 hours a day for those who want our support.
“In my mind, what really sums up what we stand for here at Nightingale House is the lights. We never turn off all of our lights; it never goes completely dark in our Hospice. No matter how desperate life may be for those who come in to find rest, there is always a light. We are always there to listen and sometimes just listening is all it takes to shine a little light into a very dark place.”
Alison added: “For us, it is so important that people remember Hospice care on February 4. What is happening here – the relentless work we are doing really does make such a difference to people who, following a diagnosis, can feel such a devastating impact on their lives. We very much hope that the people of North Wales will use World Cancer Day to speak up on our behalf as they always have done in the past. The support of our community is vital to us. Without them, we simply couldn’t exist. “