Sometimes we have to take off our professional hats for a moment to ask that simple question 'what matters to you?', to really listen to the response and then do something with that information so that we care for our patients in the ways that matter most to them. Sometimes the things that matter can be as simple as a cup of tea made exactly the right way, or knowing a much loved family pet is being cared for, but whatever it is, the important thing is to recognise that it matters to that individual and to try and address it. Sometimes what matters to a patient can be easily achieved with a simple phone call or even by sharing the information among staff, while at other times a little more effort and organisation is required, but if it matters to the patient it matters to us.

For one of our patients, what mattered was 'being outside', and when he first came to Strathcarron he enjoyed regular walks. As his condition progressed the nurses made sure he enjoyed being taken round the grounds in a chair, and latterly when bedbound his bed would be wheeled out onto the patio. It was this patient's wish that when he died he would do so 'outside, with the sun on my face'. When the time came this patient did actually pass peacefully in his bed on the patio with the sun shining upon his face, which was all he had hoped for. Whilst we cannot control when these things happen, everything was done to make sure the patient's wishes were respected and that he spent as much time outdoors as possible, as this was what mattered most to him.  Sometimes just listening and taking small steps to address what's important can make a huge difference to people at a very difficult time.

At Strathcarron, our patients and families are what matters most to us, so we will continue to make sure we ask 'what matters to you?', and whatever the answer we will listen and do our best to make sure that what matters to them is what happens.#whatmatterstoyou #makingeverymomentcount