‘There’s someone on your side’: Steven’s appointments at St Catherine’s provided a huge source of support
When Steven was diagnosed with melanoma and referred to St Catherine’s, he didn’t realise the hospice runs outpatient clinics.
He started attending appointments in 2020 with our palliative care consultant, Dr Claire Capewell, in the Woodside Clinic in the grounds of St Catherine’s.
“I was in such shock at the hospital doctor telling me my melanoma was incurable,” he recalls. “I was told to go home and make memories with my wife, and that the nurse would be in next to tell me about the local hospice.”
He was under Dr Capewell’s care for three years and says he found both her and her secretary, Janette Sherrington, to be a huge source of support for him and his wife – both psychologically and practically.
“It’s that reassurance that someone’s on your side,” he says. “I never felt rushed in my appointments with Dr Capewell. We never felt under any pressure to hurry up and leave. It’s very relaxed. The outpatient clinic building is in a lovely place, in lovely grounds.
“Dr Capewell can arrange things like CT scans, and kept my GP up-to-date and informed all the time. I also had no idea that I was entitled to a blue badge but they sorted that for me too; they are very clued up and helpful. Janette arranged for letters to be sent off to help sort our finances and benefits. It was such a comfort and help to know she was always at the end of the phone or an email.”
Steven is back under the care of his local GP now until things may change, when it may be necessary to see Dr Capewell again.
“I hope that by sharing my story, it will give reassurance to anyone who is referred to a hospice that there is someone there for them, at a very difficult and frightening time.”
Steven’s wife Lorraine is a regular customer in their local St Catherine’s Hospice shop in Adlington. They say: “The hospice shop is fantastic, with amazing staff and volunteers, and has lovely things in. It’s good to know that anything you buy helps to fund hospice care from people like Dr Capewell.”
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