February 27 2015 Latest news:
Kim Briscoe, Health correspondent
Monday, February 27, 2012
Prince Charles has been meeting patients, staff and supporters at Norwich’s Priscilla Bacon Lodge this afternoon.
The Prince of Wales was shown around the building, at Colman Hospital in Unthank Road, on his whistle-stop tour of Norfolk.
The Priscilla Bacon Centre for Specialist Palliative Care Services (PBCSPCS) is committed to providing high level specialist NHS palliative care to patients, and their families, who have advanced progressive disease, including various cancers and long-term conditions such as motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s and progressive respiratory disease. The centre operates a 16-bed inpatient unit, called the Priscilla Bacon Lodge (PBL).
Here, people can access expert care and support to address their symptoms which often includes pain, nausea, and breathlessness.
The Prince of Wales was shown around the inpatient unit, before meeting staff and volunteers in the cafe.
Volunteer Jackie Petherick, 68, from Cringleford, was particularly pleased to hear from the Prince how he liked the flowers she arranges to brighten up communal areas.
She and fellow volunteer Ruth Pearson, 67, from Muriel Road, made the Royal visitor a cup of tea.
Specialist palliative care social worker Rachel Durrant told the Prince about the links made between the Priscilla Bacon Lodge and a hospice in Ethiopia.
She said: “He asked if cancer was prevalent in Ethiopia and I told him how the care over there is 50/50 HIV and AIDS and cancer. The life expectency there is only in the 40s so cancer isn’t such a prevalent disease.
“He was really pleased and thought it was a worthwhile endeavour.”
For the past 18 months the two hospices have been working together and the director of the Ethiopian hospice recently visited Priscilla Bacon to learn more about the care it offers. Four members of PBL staff are also currently out at the hospice in Ethiopia.
The Prince then toured the day unit, where he was given a jar of marmalade by myeloma patient Brenda Milbank, 78, from Hellesdon, and which was made by volunteer Carol Towells, 66, from Hethersett.
Breast cancer patient Jenny Herwin, 67, from Loddon, told the Prince how the complementary therapies offered by therapist Mary George were helping her to cope with chemotherapy.
The grandmother-of-eight said: “I’m having chemotherapy every three weeks and it makes my feet quite numb so being able to have aromatherapy massage really helps.
“Coming here gives my family a break and I have found it very comforting because we are all in the same boat.”
Mrs Herwin was also able to tell the Prince how she was tired after staying up until 4am helping to deliver a calf at her farm.
She said: “He was very interested in that and asked if we had managed to stay clear of this new virus affecting lambs. “He seemed very knowledgeable about that.”
Prostate cancer patient Grenville Arnold, 66, from Trowse, visits the day unit every Tuesday and enjoys drawing with pastels to create pictures of steam trains.
He said: “He congratulated me on my art and talked to me about steam trains as well.
“I said it was nice to have something like this to take my mind off my illness.”
Support nurse Graham Sexton, from Bramerton, said the visit was an honour for all the staff and added: “I think we have all had a very special day.”
Although running late on his schedule, the Prince spent more than an hour at the centre, taking the time to speak to most of the patients and staff.
Modern matron Christine Hawkins said: “It was an honour for us to have him visit and it really was a boost for the patients and staff.
“He was excellent with the patients, very genuine and really listened to the patients’ stories.”
Priscilla Bacon Lodge was the last stop for heir to the throne on a visit which took in several different places in Norfolk.
Earlier in the day he visited Great Yarmouth, taking in department store Palmers, the market, St George’s Chapel and the SeaChange Arts Trust.
Prince Charles then travelled to Stalham to visit Truly Local, a not-for-profit enterprise specialising in local produce.