The Hospice makes the most of its leafy surroundings with plenty of windows and several small conservatories, a contrast with the tall, often inaccessible windows in the wards of the old buildings of Pinderfields Hospital just across the road.
We’re here visiting my mother-in-law Betty. They’ve done all they can for her medically in the hospital and the aim of the Hospice is now to make her comfortable rather than to bombard her with all resources of modern medicine in order to come up with a cure for her condition.
I see it as the difference between hard-nosed Health, with a capital ‘H’ – with all it’s targets for waiting lists, meeting budgets and successful outcomes – and well being, a softer concept which is more difficult to measure but is obvious when you come across it.
Leafy views and fresh flowers in vases, hair-dressing and aromatherapy sessions, have no place in the already stretched budgets of our National Health Service but they make such a difference to the way you feel, such a difference to the atmosphere of the place. The Health Service view might be to diagnose the problem and work towards a cure, seeing the patient to some extent as a problem to be solved. With the Hospice, it seems more as if the main aim is to treat you as a human being.