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Kieran Sweeney said: ‘Medicine is not solely a technical activity and pursuit; medicine is about understanding and being with people at the edge of the human predicament.’ He believed that health professionals sometimes need to be reminded to ‘rediscover the humanity in a patient’.
Kieran Sweeney was an honorary professor of general practice at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in the West Country, and a GP in one of the very few nurse-led practices in the UK. He was also a Trustee of the Queen’s Nursing Institute. Kieran was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at the age of 57 and died at home with his family on Christmas Eve 2009.
Shortly before he died, Kieran was filmed talking about his experience of care during his final illness. Click here to view his moving and insightful film.
The QNI created this award in his memory to offer a multi-disciplinary team the opportunity to improve care for patients in the final stages of life. We hope thereby to influence the day-to-day practice of many more individuals and teams. We hope to ensure that more patients receive the best care possible at and after the point of diagnosis of a life-threatening illness; and to reduce the distress that such a diagnosis can cause.
The Award was presented by Kieran Sweeney's widow, Barbara Sweeney, to Angela Parle at the QNI's Award Ceremony on 12 May 2011. For more information please click here.