Ruth and Barry's Hospice Story

“We know we are on borrowed time, but without this hospice we would not have been able to spend so much time together as a couple. It is a truly special service that has helped my wife and I be in a better place,” said Barry Rose, whose wife Ruth Langslow, has been receiving support from the St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) healthcare partnership at Beccles Hospital, since February 2023.

“We felt helpless but the staff at St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice and ECCH have been here to help us through an unbelievably stressful time. Before she came here she couldn’t eat or drink, but now she is a different person and her pain is managed and we can enjoy our time together. I cannot rate the service of this amazing hospice highly enough.”

Since launching in April 2019, more than 3,700 patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney have been supported by the free specialist palliative care provided by the joint partnership of St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice and ECCH.

Typically living with conditions such as cancer, heart failure, chronic lung diseases – such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and neurological disorders, these patients have received free care through the partnership’s varied, specialist palliative care provision available at Beccles Hospital, in the community and through the service’s 24-hour advice line, OneCall.

After being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in April 2022, Barry’s wife Ruth underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatment at James Paget University Hospitals and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals, before coming under the care of the St Elizabeth East Coast Hospice and ECCH team in February 2023.

Ruth, who is 70-years-old, explained: “We were referred to the hospice team and Dr. Ryder to discuss pain management to help with my symptoms, as I felt so ill and just didn’t know what to do.

“While living at home, we made use of the hospice’s 24-hour advice line, OneCall, and the team were always so kind and reassuring, but to be honest once I was admitted to the hospice’s inpatient unit, at Beccles Hospital, things became far more comfortable for Barry and I.

“It is like the hospice team have wrapped their wings around us, giving us such reassurance with their physical and emotional support. Until I came here, I didn’t realise what the hospice was or the extent of their services.

“Barry and I have been married for 18 years, and have been together for 26 years in total, and during my illness we have hated being apart. The hospice team have gone out of their way to provide a bigger room, with a bed for Barry to sleep in and we even have our dog visit me. In many ways it is like a home from home.”

Barry added: “There is so much kindness here. From the consultants and doctors, through to the cleaning staff and nurses, everybody has time to talk to you and ask if they can help you.

“Being able to hold Ruth’s hand as she goes to sleep and being there when she wakes up means the world to me. The hospice team have allowed us to be together during this precious time and I am forever grateful to them for this.”

Ruth said: “We have even enjoyed gin and tonic on a Saturday night with my sisters when they came to visit me, something which I would never have thought was possible. While, the nurses also organised for a mobile hairdresser to wash and style my hair, which made me feel lovely and tidy.

“Their focus at all points is on the dignity and comfort of each patient. From the moment we came under their care they have made us feel at ease. I know I am living with an incurable illness and it is a difficult time for Barry and myself.

“You are as brave as you can be and you try and take a positive attitude as much as possible, but the hospice team’s support helps you live life as well as you can and I cannot praise this amazing organisation enough.”

For more information about the partnership’s services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney visit

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