Sons’ frustration over dying father’s treatment by St Wilfrid’s Hospice

Steven and Paul Neilson with their Dad Sydney, 86, who they have been caring for at his home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Steven and Paul Neilson with their Dad Sydney, 86, who they have been caring for at his home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Two sons looking after their terminally ill Eastbourne father said the treatment provided by St Wilfrid’s Hospice was “absolutely appalling”.

Steven and Paul Neilson’s 86-year-old father Sydney died on Friday (March 15) after a two-year battle with cancer, and the brothers say they are “extremely frustrated” by a lack of help to support him in his last days.

Paul, who moved down from Scunthorpe to be with his father at his home in Ashford Square, said, “At least we were with him when he died. It’s a shame we didn’t get any help from the hospice. Speaking to the doctors, it’s a known issue. I think everybody’s too frightened to approach it.

“They seem good for inpatients but not for people who want to pass away at home. We asked to look after dad because it was his wishes and asked the hospice for daily visits just for the basics. The answer was no.

“They didn’t give us any help whatsoever, just warm words. They left us high and dry.

“We are extremely frustrated about the lack of information and help.

“We dropped everything to be there for him. We were willing to help but nobody pointed us in the right direction. Lots of things were never mentioned to us, we were totally in the dark.

“They have got no incentive to help somebody who wants to pass away at home. It’s absolutely appalling.”

St Wilfrid’s Hospice said it is investigating the case.

David Scott-Ralphs, chief executive of the hospice, said, “Providing specialist palliative care for patients in their own homes is one of the core services offered by the hospice and in the past year we have supported around 1,000 patients at home.

“Our support of Mr Neilson has been both in the hospice and at home, liaising throughout and working with the hospital and primary care teams and with adult social care.

“Mr Paul Neilson has previously communicated his concerns to the hospice and we are currently investigating these to provide a response.”

See also: Eastbourne mum joins the St Wilfrid’s Hospice team after staff helped her ‘popsy’ in his final months