Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Great-grandad home for Christmas just days after family told to prepare for the worst

An 82-year-old great-grandfather will spend Christmas surrounded by family just days after Nottingham doctors told his daughter to prepare for the worst.

Henry Finch was rushed into Queen’s Medical Centre with severe dehydration on Sunday 10 December. Doctors discovered he had sepsis and told his daughter Maria that he was unlikely to recover.

But Henry amazed everyone when he rallied round – and today he headed home to his wife June, thanks to the innovative Hospitals at Home scheme run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).

“Dad was so ill,” said Maria, whose house backs on to her parents’ in Calverton. “Now he’s looking forward to coming home. Mum and dad always spend Christmas Day with us and I had been dreading having to split my day to make sure I could see both of them this year.”

Henry and June – who have been married for 60 years – will be sitting down to a traditional dinner with Maria and her husband Ricky, his two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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Maria thanked NUH staff for caring for her dad and for getting a care package sorted out to enable him to go home to June, who has dementia.

“Julie Holliday, the Hospitals at Home coordinator, has worked so hard to make this happen, and kept me updated throughout.”

Henry will now get two visits a day until a social care package kicks in.

Julie said: “The joy that we can bring to the patients – even if they just get out a day or two early – is immense and makes the job really worthwhile.”

Gemma Maxwell, community rehabilitation nurse, said: “Being at home has so many benefits for patient wellbeing – being in their own environment, getting back in their routine, home-cooked food, spending time with family – patients progress really, really well in terms of rehabilitation.”


She said it had been a real pleasure looking after Henry.

“He’s such a lovely gentleman, he can’t wait to get home. And we’re really thankful that, as a team, we’ve been able to do that for him.

“We make Christmas Day as special as we can for our patients – but it is never going to be the same as being at home.”

So what can Henry expect to find in his stocking on Monday?

“He loves his smellies,” said Maria. “So I’ve bought him some aftershave.”

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