Oncology Day Ward staff need the space to do the marvellous job they do
I am writing in response to a letter published on April 5 re relatives in the Oncology Day Ward. I received six months treatment in the ward, followed by monthly maintenance for close on 2.5 years, recently finished. Through that time, I choose to attend treatment alone. I can categorically say from my experience the staff in the ward, every single month, offered help with bags, coats, discussing doctors’ advice and listened with marvellously sympathetic ears.
The nursing and other staff do an incredible job in a hugely restricted environment. The Onc/Haem day ward is incredibly busy and treat a huge amount of patients each day. Having attended for three years, I can fully understand why relatives/friends are being asked to wait away from the bedded areas. With intravenous pumps and other equipment that is needed, the space is very cramped and nursing staff are dealing with highly toxic drugs. Given the huge hearts and enormous care the staff have for their patients, I believe the decision to ask relatives to wait elsewhere would have been taken reluctantly but was clearly necessary for the safety of patients and staff alike.
With regard to the Enraged Galwegians mother’s next visit, the waiting room is down the corridor and I feel sure the staff would be more than willing to call on him/her when the doctor is with his/her mother. Also, having attended for three years, if his/her mother feels like talking, there is always someone who will be ready for a chat, be it another patient or member of staff. I can fully understand it is a very stressful time, from personal experience, but the safe delivery of the treatment must take priority.
Ideally, there would be additional space added, for patients to yet again have their family/friends with them but given that resources are so restricted at present, I would imagine available funds will be diverted elsewhere.
On a final note, I would like to thank the fantastic staff on the day ward who work so diligently and are so dedicated to their patients wellbeing. They do a truly wonderful job and certainly made my time there much easier and dare I say, a little more fun!
(Name and address with editor)