In the community
Our community specialist palliative care team offer specialist advice and support in the comfort of your own home and will work to help you achieve the best possible quality of life.
Support at home
Our community team are here to help you cope with the practical and emotional impact of your illness. The team is made up of Clinical Nurse Specialists, each assigned to a local GP practice. A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is a registered nurse who has had specialist training; ours have expert knowledge of cancer and palliative care. The CNSs are supported by Consultants in Palliative Medicine.
You’ll have a named CNS, but if they’re not on duty, another member of the team will be happy to help. Your nurse will work closely with your GP and the other healthcare professionals involved in your care to make sure your individual needs and wishes are met. They’ll listen to any worries you may have, can help you in planning and recording your preferences for your future care, and will offer expert advice and information to you and your GP if you’re struggling with pain or other difficult symptoms such as nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, breathlessness and weakness. Our community nurses don’t provide ‘hands on’ care, however they can arrange access to other services for you if needed, including our hospice wellbeing services or admission to our inpatient ward.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care aims to help people with life-limiting illness, as well as their family and friends, achieve the best quality of life possible. At St Peter & St James Hospice, we’ll assess your physical, psychological and spiritual needs and treat these accordingly.
Do I have to pay?
We’re often confused with Macmillan nurses, but we do not receive any funding from Macmillan and only a limited amount from the government. Through donations, legacies, events and other gifts, our generous community cover over 80% of our running costs, meaning hospice care is free of charge to patients, their family and friends.
When can I contact the CNS team?
Our nurses work seven days a week. However, at weekends and on bank holidays, with the exception of 25th December, there is one nurse on duty to provide telephone advice and support. If needed, we will liaise with District Nurses and the out-of-hours GP service to support you.
How often will I be contacted?
When you’re first referred to the service, your nurse will discuss with you your needs and worries and plan further contact with you. You might find a scheduled regular phone call useful, or may benefit from visits at home. If your condition changes or you have any concerns or queries, you can get in touch at any time. A small problem is often best dealt with before it becomes difficult and this is much easier during the working week when the professionals who know you best are available.
What if my CNS isn’t available when I need them?
We will always try to ensure that urgent problems are addressed as quickly as possible. If your CNS is on holiday or unavailable for any reason, one of our other team members will step in to help.
Do you share my personal information?
Our team may need to share your personal information within the hospice and with other healthcare professionals. Information about you will always be managed in accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998. We will not share information about you with your family or friends without your consent.
Who do I speak to if I want to give any feedback about my care?
We hope you’ll feel safe, comfortable and happy with the care you receive, but if you have any worries or suggestions on how we can improve, we’ll always listen. Just chat to your nurse, complete a ‘Just one thing’ card, or contact the Head of Nursing & Clinical care via our switchboard.