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Dad had the death he wanted, in his own bed

TomTom's view from his bedroom where he spent his final days.

"The 24-hour support via the iPad meant that both Tom and I, as his carer, knew he could have medication for distressing symptoms as soon as he needed it, and in fact this occurred several times in the last few days of his life. "Being able to talk things through at any time of day or night with a nurse, and have their confident help meant that we both felt well cared for and supported. Tom had the dignified and peaceful death he wanted, in his own bed, on one of the most remote farms in England."

Tom was 85 and lived all his life on a remote farm, where he was born. Following a scan, he was diagnosed with advanced and rapidly progressing pancreatic cancer. He declined any treatments, his priority being to get back to his lifelong home and spend his last weeks there. His daughter and her partner moved in to support him.

Tom’s priorities were:

  • To have his preferences for care respected
  • To be free of pain and troublesome symptoms
  • To stay in his familiar surroundings
  • To spend time with his daughter, Susan
  • Not to need to attend hospital appointments
  • Privacy and dignity

Susan’s concerns were:

  • How will she manage her father's needs? 
  • What if he is in pain or distressed? 
  • How will professionals get to them in a timely way?
  • Will she be ‘allowed’ to be her dad's main carer?

Our challenges:

  • Remote location, making visiting very time-consuming for professionals
  • Lengthy delays waiting for professionals to manage any symptoms
  • Tom is a very private man, and doesn’t want a lot of people in his home
  • Susan wants to be her dad's main carer but needs support to do this

How Goldline supported Tom and his family:

  • Tom was offered an iPad with teleconsultation software
  • He and his daughter used this for advice and support, 24/7 from senior nurse "face-to-face"
  • Nurse called other services as needed - and supported the family while they are waiting
  • Injectable medicines were prescribed and left in a "just in case" box with syringes etc
  • Daughter taught to give injections under the skin
  • Hospice team could also make contact via iPad
  • If Tom became restless or in pain, and needed an injection, Susan called the Airedale Digital Care Hub via the iPad, so a nurse could assess Tom via video link and advise on medication
  • The nurse supported Susan to give the injection and checked back with her later that it has been effective
  • Tom died peacefully in his own bed
  • Susan felt empowered and supported to fulfil Tom’s wishes 

What Susan said:

"The 24-hour support via the iPad meant that both Tom and I, as his carer, knew he could have medication for distressing symptoms as soon as he needed it, and in fact this occurred several times in the last few days of his life.  

"Being able to talk things through at any time of day or night with a nurse, and have their confident help meant that we both felt well cared for and supported. 

Tom had the dignified and peaceful death he wanted, in his own bed, on one of the most remote farms in England."

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"The 24-hour support via the iPad meant that both Tom and I, as his carer, knew he could have medication for distressing symptoms as soon as he needed it, and in fact this occurred several times in the last few days of his life. "Being able to talk things through at any time of day or night with a nurse, and have their confident help meant that we both felt well cared for and supported. Tom had the dignified and peaceful death he wanted, in his own bed, on one of the most remote farms in England."

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A dedicated 24/7 telephone service for people with a serious illness who are in their last year of life, and the people looking after them. Care is provided by a team of experienced nurses who are on hand to give advice, support and guidance to help people die with dignity in the place of their choosing (usually at home).

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