Gin and tonics, dogs and Dundee

by Aileen Collier IMG_1421
After a few days of catching up with Dr Tanya Park and her honours students Brittany and Sharan from the University of Alberta in Canada in Valencia (as well as some EAPC conference recovery time) I took off to Dundee, Scotland. As well as enjoying the warm sunny spring days and catching up with family I got down to some hard work with Dr. Suzanne Grant and Professor Bruce Guthrie at the University of Dundee. As an anthropologist Suzanne has been interested in pushing at the boundaries of ethnographic methods for some time now. We had a great time grappling with where we might take our patient safety work next.

Not one to miss an opportunity Dr Debbie Baldie, practice development nurse at NHS Tayside and research fellow, Queen Margaret Hospital in Edinburgh invited me to give a presentation at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. It was great to be back in the hospital I trained in and hear about what’s going on there. I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with Nurse Consultant Cara Taylor who I’d known as a Macmillan nurse many years ago. As well as presenting my own work I was able to share “Ill care for you”. 

The presentation engendered great discussion around the role of hospitals in palliative care. Dr Deans Buchanan, Medical Director of Palliative Care in Tayside, as it turns out, has been following my own and Jackie Robinson’s work with interest, sharing our concerns about the rhetoric of home as always the ‘best’ or safest place to be. It was wonderful to have nurses from the respiratory ward at the talk. Talking passionately about their role in palliative care was heartening and inspiring. “I asked the consultant to prescribe gin and tonic for a person” said one of the nurses “ I mean if they can have a drink in the hospice, if they can have their dog visit there, then they should have it here!”  [We look forward to welcoming Dr Baldie to Auckland in a few weeks time]

 

 

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