A WREXHAM family has praised Nightingale House’s new direct referral service after it was introduced to help ease pressure on the NHS during the first lockdown.

Stephen Lamb’s family used the service when they were looking after his mother Lynne Lamb, who recently passed away aged 61.

Lynne, a former landlady of the Walnut Inn, Rhosddu and employee at M&S in Eagles Meadow was already being treated at the Shooting Star Unit within the Maelor Hospital, but the family realised the hospice could help in other ways.

The Direct Referral Service was designed as a way of trying to ease the increased pressure on primary care colleagues like GPs and Community Nurses at the start of the pandemic. Following feedback from patients and their families it is now permanent.

It means patients or their loved ones can ring directly to the clinical team based at Chester Road, Wrexham.

Stephen said it was important they had somewhere to ring just to get help and advice.

Lynne Lamb with her son Stephen who praised Nightingale House’s new direct referral services for patients and their loved ones.

Lynne Lamb with her son Stephen who praised Nightingale House’s new direct referral services for patients and their loved ones.

Stephen said: “My cousin Wendy already knew about Nightingale House and the services they offered but wasn’t sure whether my mum would qualify or be able to access the hospice services. They were so helpful and from one phone call they put the wheels in motion to assess Mum’s needs. Mum was able to access the relevant services and nothing was too much trouble. Just because she was being treated at Shooting Star didn’t mean that she could not use the services and care being offered at the hospice as well.”

Cath Evans is the Admissions and Discharge Facilitator at Nightingale House Hospice and added: “Patients and their families don’t need a doctor’s referral to ring us as we can follow up the detailed paperwork with district nurses and GP practices after the call. We are finding that it takes the stress off patients and their families who are under tremendous strain anyway.”

Stephen wants to help increase awareness for the services on offer at the hospice.

He said: "They are always happy to provide information and support and this service is invaluable. Nightingale House is not just about going there for your final days, but about increasing the quality of life for the patient and their family. If this information just helps one person who is struggling then my mum has made a difference."

He is now planning on a fundraising event for Nightingale House in memory of his mother Lynne, once restrictions are lifted.

If you or a loved one has palliative care needs our expert team can help facilitate your needs through appropriate advice and guidance over the telephone. This could result in you being referred or sign-posted to other services or in some cases being admitted as an in-patient. You can ring through on 01978 316800 and ask to speak to a member of the Nightingale House Direct Referrals Team.