The Hospital Support Team is a multi-disciplinary team, working in partnership with staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, providing a specialist palliative care service for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust. We aim to work with you and the people involved in your care to achieve the best quality of life possible for you and your family.
We are able to help with any symptoms you may have, such as pain and nausea and help you make difficult decisions around your care including support for you to get home. We are able to offer specialist advice, information, support and spiritual care to you and your family and help you adjust to your diagnosis and the changes you may experience in the course of your illness.
Hospice Support in Hospital
With the team’s experience and expertise in controlling symptoms and supporting people and families in planning for the future, as well as their role in sharing their skills and knowledge with hospital staff, they are able to bring Hospice care into a hospital setting.
Medical and nursing staff on the hospital wards refer patients to the team. The Hospice nurses and doctors will visit people who are staying on a ward, talk to the doctors and nurses looking after them, and also to the patient’s family. Each year the team sees around 800 people, demonstrating the considerable need within the hospital for specialist palliative care.
Sometimes people attending the hospital are already known to the Hospice, because they have been supported by the Hospice or they attend the Day Hospice. The team can provide a link with existing care arrangements, which can be reassuring for the person in hospital and their family, and can facilitate a focused response to treatment and care needs.
Once hospital treatment is complete, the team can help with planning a swift and effective transfer home or to another care setting, assisting hospital staff to make appropriate arrangements for people to be returned safely home with a sufficient level of care and support. Arrangements are often complex, and sometimes people may need to be transferred to a care home or to the Hospice. If people are going home, the team will make sure their care is handed over to the Hospice Community Nursing Team to support them.