EDINBURGH, UK - 7th May 2024: A parliamentary reception takes place to celebrate the work of Marie Curie staff, volunteers and partner organisations. The event highlighted the charity's impact across Scotland to MSPs. (Photograph: MAVERICK PHOTO AGENCY)

Neil Bibby MSP lent his support to end-of-life charity Marie Curie at a recent event at the Scottish Parliament.

Meeting with staff and volunteers from Marie Curie, Neil heard about the care and support that is provided to people living with terminal illness, their families and carers across Scotland.

The leading end of life charity supported almost 8000 terminally ill people across Scotland in their own homes and at its two Scottish hospices during 2022/23. In West Scotland over 6100 visits were made by the charity’s Hospice at Home Service to support people in the comfort of their own homes.

The event promoted Marie Curie’s campaign to ensure that everyone no matter who they are, where they are or their diagnosis has access to the care and support they need at the end of life.

Neil Bibby MSP said: “Palliative care is so important for people with terminal illnesses and their families.

“Relieving symptoms not only gives patients an improved quality of life, but it also gives families the much-needed reassurance that they are not alone in this extremely difficult time.

“Almost everyone will, or knows someone who will, require palliative care at the end of their lives. So it is right that everyone – no matter who they are, where they live, or what their diagnosis – should be given the opportunity to receive it.”

Maxine Dundas, whose mum Gill was cared for by Marie Curie at home and the hospice in Edinburgh, spoke at the event. She said: “Marie Curie visited us and said that the hospice had space to take mum for a week’s care.

“The hospital had told us that Marie Curie were far superior to them with regards to palliative cancer care and that a week there would hugely benefit mum – and us. However, with mum being so toxic from her medication she was kept in the hospital for another nine days.

“When the time came for Marie Curie to enter our lives properly they scooped us up. It was like being scooped into the wings of an angel.

“Finally, we felt like it had been acknowledged that we needed help, that somebody was listening to us and to what we needed. And I do mean we, not just mum. Cancer invades not only the body of the patient but the body of the family. It goes beyond physical pain, hurting the soul of everyone travelling the path with the sufferer.

“Marie Curie took mum straight from the hospital and put her in a large, bright room right where she could look out onto the garden. Whilst they were making her comfortable they got straight onto trying to help us get a care package sorted, their Social Work department going straight to both councils’ legal teams, asking them to get it fixed.

“I must admit here that I sat and cried at this point. For two and a half months nobody had listened to my pleas for assistance. Well, they listened but never acted.”

Maxine  added: “Perhaps the muddled-up world of Covid had meant my voice somehow always got lost, but Marie Curie knew what to do and where to go and for that I will always be thankful.”

Amy Dalrymple, Associate Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Marie Curie, Scotland, said:

“Thank you to Neil Bibby for his ongoing support.

“Seeing and hearing first-hand stories like Maxine’s of how living with a terminal illness and caring for someone is a sad reminder that many of us have and will encounter Marie Curie at some point in our lives.

“We know that by 2040, a further 10,000 people will be dying with palliative care needs. Every one of them should have access to the care and support they need at the end of life, when they need, in a place of their own choosing. That is why Marie Curie is campaigning for a right to palliative care to ensure that everyone gets the care and support they need”.

Headline photo: Neil Bibby MSP with Marie Curie Clinical Services Manager Jennifer Gallagher

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *