Matt Hancock please don't let ‘end of life' patients die alone

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My name is Jackie Victory, wife, mother of three daughters and main carer to Jason Victory. Jason was discharged yesterday from our local hospice with end stage cancer. This week we were informed we could only have one named visitor at the hospice and within 2 weeks no visitors will be permitted as the epidemic intensifies. My husband is a retired GP and I am a registered nurse - we fully understand the threat and therefore the importance of current guidelines to minimise the risks of catching and spreading the Covid-19 virus. However, we were both shocked by this Public Health England policy. Living with ‘end stage' cancer is a vulnerable time for our family and indeed all patients with ‘end of life' illness and their immediate family members. 

‘End of life' care should embody being with close family, living in the ‘now' because the future is so uncertain, time that can never be replaced! These final days, conversations and time spent together should not be denied because of Covid-19. No one should die alone. 

We believe that all ‘end of life' patients should be granted access to their loved ones at any time, enabling comfort and peace, but not compromising safety!  

Please make this a priority - supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all staff, AND the patient's immediate family members, so they can be together, reducing distress and allow death with dignity.