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The newsletter of The Hospice of St Francis
“The Hospice has transformed my outlook”
Here at the Hospice, more and more of
our care is delivered beyond our walls. As well as supporting an increasing number of patients, families and carers in our outpatient Spring Centre, we are working hard with other health care providers to reach many more people in the community.
Early in 2011, former cabinet-maker and widower Frank Brandom was diagnosed with
prostate cancer, which has now spread to his bones. Despite the fact that the disease is progressing, he says that the Hospice has transformed his outlook from bleak to positive and he is completely pain-free. Here Frank, 78, describes what the Hospice means to him...
“It was my GP who suggested that the Hospice could help me. I wasn’t sure at first. I didn’t know quite how they could help, but now I don’t know what I would have done without them.
As soon as I made contact, I found a group of friendly, compassionate people who make me feel welcome.
The main thing I would say is that the Hospice gives me peace of mind. I know I have somewhere to go and someone to talk to when I need help.
“Unbelievably, I am now pain-free. The effect it has had on my state of mind has been incredible.”
In 2014 I began having physiotherapy at the Hospice and joined a Friday morning Wellbeing group where I meet with other prostate cancer sufferers. I even met a former colleague in the furniture trade, who I hadn’t seen in 30 years since we worked
at Durrants together in Berkhamsted, which was a real tonic.
I’ve attended a fatigue management course and even had acupuncture to help me relax. For the last six months, I’ve had weekly visits from Caroline, one of the Hospice’s Community Specialist Nurses, in my
own home.
The Hospice bridges the gap between me and my doctors and consultant. Caroline’s visits give me a chance to talk about my care and I know I can call her any time. It’s great to know that someone is looking out for me.
One of the main things the Hospice has done for me is to help with my pain management. I had terrific pains in my lower back and hip after my first lot
of radiotherapy, which was affecting everything. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t sleep – I just couldn’t get comfortable and it was affecting my state of mind. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
But the Hospice offered me advice, talked to my doctors on my behalf and really helped me. They adapted my medication and unbelievably, I am now pain-free. The effect it has had on my state of mind has been incredible.
“The Hospice has been a lifeline to me and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
But the biggest difference the Hospice has made to my life is in my outlook. Before,
it was pretty bleak, but now I have a much more positive frame of mind, knowing I can make the most of the time I have left and be useful again.
The Hospice has been a lifeline to me over the past few months and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who needs support.”
Frank Brandom at home with Hospice Community Nurse Caroline Wheeldon
Read more about how we support people in their own homes here:

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