Hospice Care or ‘Specialist Palliative Care’ supports people of all ages with a life-limiting illness, enabling them to achieve the best quality of life possible. The aim is to treat every patient with dignity and respect, helping them to plan for the future, while also supporting families and loved ones.
Palliative Care involves pain management and symptom management and provides clinical, social, emotional and spiritual support.
This is a condition, illness or disease which is progressive and cannot be cured.
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
- Intends neither to hasten nor postpone death
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible
- Offers a support system to help families during a patient’s illness and in bereavement
- Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated
- To enhance quality of life
Hospice services vary locally, but you can find out about the service in your area by contacting your local hospice.
We have listed below the variety of ways in which Specialist Palliative Care can be provided;
- In Hospices (dedicated Specialist Palliative Care in-patient units)
- In people’s own homes, with Specialist Palliative Homecare nurses working closely with the family doctor and/or Specialist Palliative Care team
- In general hospitals, by the hospital’s palliative care team
- In community hospitals and nursing homes the by Specialist Palliative Care teams
Find out more about the services in your area here.
To be admitted to a hospice or to access hospice home care, a patient needs to be referred by their GP or hospital consultant. A doctor’s referral will always be required before a patient can be admitted to a service.
It depends on the individual case. Each service assesses referred patients on a basis of Specialist Palliative Care need and access can vary depending on location.
Usually someone is referred to Hospice or Palliative Care when their condition, illness or disease cannot be cured. Many different kinds of patients attend Specialist Palliative Care services, but all have a life-limiting condition.
Treatment and care is aimed at helping the patient to live as well as possible, for as long as possible. Some will have months or years to live, others may have only days or weeks.
A patient may spend a short period of time in a Hospice while the best treatment for their symptoms are determined, or for a short period of respite, after which the patient may be able to return home.
Unfortunately, as Together for Hospice is solely a national fundraising body supporting hospices in their fundraising efforts, we are unable to assist with patient admissions. A patient will always require a referral from their GP or Hospital consultant.
However, if you would like some additional advice from your local Hospice you can visit our Together for Hospice Members page here to find contact details for your local hospice who will be able to guide you.
A notable feature of hospice care is that services are provided free of charge, regardless of the patient’s or their family’s means. Insurance providers may be asked to contribute towards the cost of the care in circumstances where a patient has private medical insurance.
Click here to see hospice services in your local area.