Inverclyde Royal first in UK to offer companionship for dying patients

An initiative, the first of its kind in Britain, is providing support to patients in hospital who are in their last hours.

The initiative ‘No One Dies Alone’ started life in the USA but has been introduced at Inverclyde Royal Hospital and is available to patients and their families at a time of need.

It offers patients with no family or friends, or patients whose families need some respite, a companion who can sit with a dying patient so they are not alone.

The companions, who are volunteers, provide comfort and support to the patient by offering a peaceful, calming presence that lets the patient know they are not alone. The companions talk, read, play music or quietly hold the patient’s hand and pray as requested by the patient or family.

Thanks to STV for the video (copyright STV 2018).

Marie Farrell, Director Clyde Sector, said: “Our staff at the IRH are extremely grateful for this support for patients and their families at what is undoubtedly an extremely difficult and sad time.

“Our staff spend as much time as possible with patients in their final hours but having someone there all the time at the bedside offers an additional reassurance to the patient and their family.

“Volunteers who offer their time to sit with patients should be commended for the support they provide and our staff are extremely grateful that the IRH is the first in the UK to have this project available for patients.”