Common questions

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is given to people with a terminal illness that is no longer curable. Palliative care aims to treat people in a holistic way to maximise their comfort and quality of life.

Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group and Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group both make a contribution towards the cost of providing the Hospice’s support and services. These contributions make up approximately 35% of the cost of running the Hospice and we rely on our retail shops, fundraising events, legacies, lotteries and other sources of income to cover the remaining costs.

No. All the care offered by the Hospice – at home, in hospital, and at the Hospice – is provided free of charge to patients, and their carers, family, and friends.

If you’ve been referred to the Hospice, it generally means it is no longer expected that your illness can be cured. This might sound frightening but it doesn’t mean death is imminent. Our team are experts in managing pain and will do what they can to manage your symptoms, improve your quality of life, and provide support for your family and friends.

Many people prefer to be cared for at home, in familiar surroundings with their loved ones nearby, following their own routines. Our community nursing team can provide this: making arrangements, arranging carers, giving medical advice. If you live in the borough of Royal Greenwich and have Continuing Healthcare Fast Track funding, we can provide personal care. This means our team can visit several times during the day to help with personal care and to keep people comfortable.

Some of the support we offer might involve people coming to the hospice for appointments. Our Rehabilitation and Wellbeing team provide activities to help people maintain the best quality of life, and can help you maintain your independence.

We have a Hospice team based at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. We do not currently provide specialist palliative care services at any other hospitals in Bexley and Royal Greenwich boroughs but all hospitals will have a specialist palliative care team.

We provide different types of Hospice care so, if you’re discharged from hospital, we’ll be able to refer you to people who can provide help. This might be through our community nursing team or at the Hospice.

Family, friends and even pets are welcome to visit at any time, although we ask that visitors check with the ward staff before arriving, in case there are any restrictions. We ask all visitors to wear a mask when on the IPU and please use the handwashing station and antibacterial hand gel available before entering and when leaving. If any visitors have been unwell with flu-like symptoms or an upset stomach, we ask that they call us first to speak to the nurse in charge before visiting.

No. Our team will work closely with all the healthcare professionals involved in your care to make sure your care is coordinated.

No. Our team cares for people with different sorts of terminal illnesses, including heart, lung, or liver conditions or illnesses such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or Motor Neurone Disease.

Our Inpatient Unit provides care for people when they might benefit from spending some time at the Hospice. This might be because you have difficult symptoms and our team can help get these under control so you can return home feeling more comfortable.

You might stay on the Inpatient Unit for as long as it takes to resolve your symptoms. Some people find that a relatively short stay on the Inpatient Unit can make a difference to how they’re feeling and they’re able to go back home. If it’s difficult for you to go back home, we will work with you, your carers, family and friends to find other places where your care can be continued.

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