01 June 2018
From now on, patients with cancer at Spire Hartswood Hospital will be marking the end of a treatment phase in a very special way – by ringing a bell and reciting a stirring poem, while their loved ones and the caring staff look on.
First to ring the bell was Paula Mills. Surrounded by her husband Matthew and some of the nurses who have looked after her, she proudly rang the bell while those watching recited the poem. It reads: “Ring this bell/ three times well/ its toll to clearly say/my treatments done/this course is run/and I am on my way!”
Paula, who was treated by Consultant Oncologist Dr Eliot Sims, also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which was followed by a well-deserved round of applause and cheers from the Hartswood team who have been caring for Paula, who has breast cancer, since December.
Ringing the bell signifies for patients that their treatment, or a significant phase of it, has now concluded and helps them feel that they are moving forward with their lives. Charity End of Treatment Bells, has provided 159 bells so far to oncology wards throughout the country and Spire Hartswood Hospital received bell number 158.
Paula said: “I started my treatment in December, now I have finished my chemo. You go through an awful experience but the staff make it better for you. From reception to catering, consultants and nurses, they have been all been brilliant, nothing is too much trouble. “
Paula faces other treatments this year yet she remains positive, “Hopefully, I am now on the way to recovery” she added.
Hospital Director Jo Dean said: “Watching the bell rung for the first time was an inspiring and emotional experience both for Paula and the team who supported her. I think the bell is a fantastic idea. It acknowledges that patients have reached an important milestone and reminds them that they have achieved so much since their diagnosis. Best of all, it gives hope.”