5 things I learnt about Trinity: a wife's story Following her husband Andrew's death, Christina has been a member of Trinity's Friends and Family Involvement Group. Members are a voice for others like them, and meet to develop ideas on enhancing the services Trinity offers to those close to patients who are under our care. Here Christina reflects on her time with the hospice and shares five key things she would like to tell others who are going through a similar experience. 1. Trinity's Wandsworth Care Coordination Service acts as a single point of contact for all the care needs of those living in the borough of Wandsworth. "Andrew’s symptoms and diagnosis came very unexpectedly. All of a sudden there were nurses coming and going, we were given lots of information from different care providers, and it felt like we couldn’t trace what help was coming from where. I wish I had the experience of Trinity’s Wandsworth Care Coordination Service. It acts as a one-stop-shop coordinating help from a single point of access. I feel this is a template of how things should be during an already turbulent time. For patients, carers, family and friends living in Wandsworth, it is comforting to know that there is a single number to call for everything, at any time.” 2. Trinity has a vast range of therapies, groups, and support for patients and families. “Having had no previous experience, we thought hospices only offered inpatient care at the end of life. This is not the case. Trinity provides a range of community and outpatient services from the point of diagnosis. Andrew was even given help by Occupational Therapy to use his computer at home.” 3. The Inpatient Unit offers respite. “When a family is dealing with a terminal illness it can be physically and emotionally draining for everyone. Families and carers going through this need to know that Trinity also offers short term respite which gives everybody a break, so that you can come back together feeling calmer and restored. At this time the NHS also arranged for us to have a live-in carer at home. This enabled me to get on with the things I needed to do, knowing that Andrew wasn’t alone and was safe. If required, Trinity can help with referring families for care needs such as this.” 4. Trinity is there for you from the point of diagnosis, 24/7, until as long as you and your family need them. “I didn’t know that you could call any time, day and night, for all kinds of advice. Their services are offered from beginning to end, as little or as often as you need them. Equally, if there is a time where you do not require Trinity’s services, there is no expectation; you can call on them again whenever you wish.” 5. Trinity offer practical help and support. “Everything happened so fast that I didn’t have time to think about the practicalities of adjusting to Andrew's illness. Thankfully I spoke with Trinity’s Welfare Benefits Advisor who supported me to prepare financially, helped with applying for a disabled badge, and provided general orientation to benefits and entitlements that helped to make things that bit easier.” If you, like Christina, would like to enhance the services that Trinity offers to those close to patients by being a member of the Friends and Family Involvement Group please contact Pat Mooney at [email protected]. Membership requirements of the group are: ability to commit to at least 12 months, bereaved for 12 months or more, not currently receiving a Trinity service. If you have questions about any of the services that Trinity provides, please contact us by calling 020 7787 1000 or emailing [email protected].