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Cambridgeshire nurses help end of life patients fulfil wedding day dreams

There are two wedding boxes at Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon

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Hospital staff in Peterborough and Huntingdon are appealing for help to ensure end of life patients fulfil their wedding day dreams. The group of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust staff have created a portable ‘wedding box’.

Natasha Steels-Webb is a critical outreach nurse practitioner and one of those involved.

She says the idea came about after seeing first-hand how helping to grant patients’ wishes can have a positive impact.

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“A colleague and I decided to create the wedding box after a patient we were caring for had become very unwell and it was clear she was not going to recover,” she said.

“She had been with her current partner for many years, but they just hadn’t got around to getting married – and this was something they both wanted.

Critical outreach nurse practitioners Lois Kendall and Natasha Steels-Webb with some of the Wedding Box items.

Critical outreach nurse practitioners Lois Kendall and Natasha Steels-Webb with some of the Wedding Box items.

“Although we were able to make this happen, with help from all the relevant teams, we felt that we could do something to make future weddings even more special with decorative items, artificial flowers and balloons on standby for such an event.”

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A social media appeal was launched, and items and offers of donations flooded in.

There are now two wedding boxes – where the contents can be used at short notice – at Peterborough City Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, which staff can access via the chaplaincy team.

Natasha and her colleagues are now looking to build on this by providing a directory of cake makers, photographers and any businesses providing a wedding-related service that could be called upon at short notice.

Wedding dresses, chair covers and decorative items are also on the wish-list.

Natasha added: “It is difficult to put into words what a difference these weddings make – but you can see the appreciation in the eyes of the patient and their loved ones that you have been able to make a difference – not purely because it is your job, but because you truly care.”

If any individual or business would like to assist the wedding box initiative, they can contact Natasha Natasha.steels-webb@nhs.net

 

 

 

 

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