'I will never forget and will be forever grateful' by Paula McCusker, Specialist Hepatology Dietitian, Cambridge University Hospitals

Munish.Datta's picture

My time as a volunteer of Rama Foundation is one I will never forget and will be forever grateful for. This opportunity to pass on any skills of benefit to the staff of Ganga Prem Hospice was something to cherish as a health care professional.

Ganga Prem Hospice is a place of tranquillity, care and respect. The staff go over and above for their patients and the environment of a family. Upon arrival we were welcomed with open arms and shown around their open facility, meeting patients and learning of the incredible care being given. It was great to see the amazing dietetic work already achieved by RF being implemented by the hospice and hearing of the differences they have found in their patient with improved nutrition support.

During our visit, we also went with several of the Home Care nurses who make daily visits to patients homes to provide care. From watching the nurses engage with the patients and the their families, you can see they are welcomed into homes and trusted like family. Their advice and help is crucial for these people as they provide the advice of a doctor, pharmacist, dietitian and physio all in one.

I found it interesting to see the informality and easiness between the healthcare professional and the patients creating an easy, stress free environment for this patient and their carers. The nurses and doctor at every visit acknowledged and care they were providing their loved one. The communication and patient care of the staff at GPH is an invaluable practice I was able to take away from the experience and implement in my own work. The patient is at the centre of care always with family having constant involvement and taking time away from their work / personal lives to care for them. The nursing staff encourage the involvement of loved ones and work with them to make the patient feel heard, comfortable and at home at GPH.

This trip made me appreciate my own privilege and changed my perspective in what I take for granted day for day. The patient’s and staff at GPH were so grateful for any help that we could give while not ever complaining about not having sufficient resources, instead being creative and working with what they did have.

There is definitely so much more potential to build on the work of RF so far. It was great this trip to get a more MDT approach in highlighting what next is needed as a priority for GPH to help facilitate their work. I am excited to continue to build on the relationship and keep supporting GPH.

Watch Paula volunteering in India: https://youtu.be/t-lhBRxi4Jg