Chesterfield Royal Hospital designs condolences card in memory of coronavirus victim
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Dr Katherine Lendrum had been involved with the care of the man, called Andrew, who unexpectedly died from the virus at the hospital.
Andrew’s family could not be present at the time and Dr Lendrum broke the devastating news to them by telephone.
While breaking tragic news is part of her role, Andrew’s death made Dr Lendrum and the senior nursing staff reflect on how the hospital could reassure family members that their loved one was not alone at the end of their life – and that’s when the idea of creating the condolences card came about.
Dr Lendrum said: “The next day I decided to send a simple condolences card, bought from the hospital shop, to Andrew’s family to let them know the names of staff who had been there while Andrew passed away – I know that isn’t the same as family being present but I hoped our names might make it feel a bit more personal and reassure them that our staff really do care.
“Colleagues were supportive of this and together we started to design a special trust condolences card to help other families who suffer the same devastating news – and to show that staff empathise, and feel their loss keenly too.”
The condolences card was designed by a junior doctor from the emergency department.
The cards – which feature a rainbow as a symbol for the NHS and a tree representing a Derbyshire oak tree – are being given to anyone who has lost a loved one and could not be with them when they passed away.
A spokesperson for Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “We have liaised with Andrew’s family who are proud and delighted that Andrew’s name is to be carried on these cards – cards which will now form a lasting legacy to their much-loved brother and cousin.
“We hope that the card brings some comfort to grieving families and once again are proud to care for our patients with respect, dignity and love especially at the end of their lives.”