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The Blossom Project

Ensuring patients who are at the end of their life receive the best possible care is something we are passionate about at Bedfordshire Hospitals.

The Blossom Project, supported by Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity and funded by NHS Charity’s Together, enables volunteers to provide support and companionship for those receiving End of Life Care and their families at both Bedford and Luton & Dunstable Hospital. This project ensures that, wherever possible, no one dies alone.

The volunteers sit with them, play peaceful music, read to them and maybe hold their hand if appropriate. They also offer respite and support for families/friends.

 

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Since the project began approximately 400 patients have been seen across both sites. As of August 2022, Blossom volunteers have spent a total of 1011 hours with patients. 12 have died with a Blossom volunteer present.

Ursula (pictured below) has been a Blossom for over 2 years at the Luton site. Here’s what she had to say…

‘This role has given me so much and I feel privileged to be part of it.’

Blossom volunteer

In addition, below is a quote from one of our service users…

‘My mother recently passed away at the L&D following a severe stroke. My brother and I were touched by the support and time that the Blossom Volunteers gave to mum in her final days, whilst she was receiving end of life care. We would like to thank these volunteers, and of course all the nurses and doctors, who cared for mum so well. Thank you!’

Not only do we support our service users, aid in the feeling of fulfilment of our volunteers but we also help nursing staff by giving the family/friends and their loved ones a luxury that nursing staff simply do not have. Time.

Here’s what the Ward 14 DME manager said…

‘I have had great experiences regarding the Blossom volunteers and have had some lovely feedback from the relatives regarding the bedside manner of the volunteers. They are very caring and willing to listen and are very attentive, for example providing tea and coffee.’