AS I SEE IT: Being in hospital closer to home is so much better

My grandma is very poorly and is being looked after in Clitheroe Community Hospital.

Each time myself and other members of the family visit there are highs and lows, so having somewhere like Clitheroe Community Hospital is a real God send.

After all no-one likes being ill, particularly my 91-year-old grandma who, until now, has always been relatively healthy and has lived independently. But with ill health comes the need to rely and be dependent on others. The better images of this new dependency are of my three-year-old daughter combing her great-grandma’s hair, or of friends and relatives rallying round to keep her spirits up.

Another high is knowing that my grandma is being cared for locally in a great community facility. There are only a couple of other ladies in her room, and she has a bed right next to the window. Although the hospital is looking its age, there is a lovely atmosphere and from what I’ve seen so far, a dedicated team of staff.

This is a complete contrast to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, where she was treated for just over two weeks.

Now there wasn’t anything wrong with the care my grandma received there. The overworked nurses were obviously trying their best to cope with a large number of, in some cases, severely ill and elderly people. But to my grandma, being cared for in a hospital nine miles away from her home, family and friends must have been very upsetting and frightening.

Obviously, her condition initially dictated that she was treated in a hospital with the correct facilities. The staff there treated the root cause of her ill health, while at Clitheroe, she is allowed to convalesce.

The amazing thing is though, whatever Clitheroe Community Hospital lacks in equipment and facilities, it certainly makes up for in location. Family and friends can pop in regularly and I’m sure knowing that she is closer to home has lifted my grandma’s spirits greatly.

On consulting East Lancashire PCT’s website I discover just how much Clitheroe Community Hospital has to offer; 24-hour nursing care is provided to people requiring rehabilitation, post-operative nursing care, ongoing medical care, palliative care and blood transfusions. The wards are staffed by a highly skilled team of qualified nurses and support staff, while local residents can also access dedicated teams of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and other specialities. The hospital also houses a Rehabilitation Day Unit and Outpatient facility where patients are assessed and their care planned to meet their individual needs. There is also a dental specialist unit and X-ray facilities.

My husband’s grandma, who has Parkinson’s Disease, has also just completed an eight-week course there titled “Preventing Falls – strength and balance exercises for healthy ageing”.

So let’s hope the talks about this local facility currently being held ensure it’s fit for the future for many years to come.